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Losing bees to pollinate crops will disrupt the world’s food supply and cost billions of euros, an Irish study warns

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Rich nations must move to protect bees and other pollinators in poor countries to secure global food supplies and avoid rising import costs, says a joint Irish-British study.

Climate change, natural disasters and loose pesticide regulations are threatening bees and other pollinating insects in countries that many food crops depend onscientists say.

They say national pollinator plans are important to prevent domestic bee losses in rich countries, but poorer producing countries often lack the resources to implement them.

So wealthier nations must help or risk a reduction in food supplies and ingredient shortages that could cost them billions of euros in economic disruption, the experts say.

Her warnings follow a joint study by researchers from Trinity College Dublin and Reading University.

The results are published in the journal, human and natureand show that while producing countries can benefit in the short-term when shortages push up prices, the longer-term effects are bad.

For importing countries, there are immediate, medium-term and long-term losses.

Professor Jane Stout of the Trinity School of Natural Sciences, who co-authored the report, said it makes clear that biodiversity loss is having global consequences in every part of the world.

“One of the main messages of our work is that we simply cannot afford to just take care of our own pollinators,” she said.

“We need to start thinking globally and supporting pollinator conservation efforts with our trading partners, particularly in developing countries that may not have the resources to address pollinator conservation the way we do.

“If we don’t do that, we risk the livelihoods of many people abroad and even higher inflation at home.”

The researchers based their study on 74 animal-pollinated crops and trade data from 140 countries, and mapped out the impact of pollinator loss on producing countries and the countries to which they export.

“What we’re seeing is a pretty consistent pattern,” said Dr. Tom Breeze from Reading University. “The countries that suffer the most economic losses from rising prices are large, well-developed economies that import many pollinated crops.”

Ireland imports most of its fruit and vegetables and all of its specialty crops such as cocoa and coffee.

https://www.independent.ie/news/environment/loss-of-bees-to-pollinate-crops-will-affect-food-global-supplies-and-cost-billions-of-euro-irish-study-warns-41501316.html Losing bees to pollinate crops will disrupt the world’s food supply and cost billions of euros, an Irish study warns

Fry Electronics Team

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