Environmental Degradation and Pollination Crisis
Hubert Guerriat, the author of How to be Successful in Beekeeping, presents a concise summary of the pollination crisis. In his book, he establishes the link between different environmental factors, food production, pollinators and biodiversity.
Since the rapid industrialisation that took place since the 1950s, the environment has taken a hit. As Guerriat states, there has been a "banalisation" of ecosystems thanks to agriculture's industrialisation, linked to deforestation and increasing use of pesticides.
However, agriculture is not impervious to the pollinators crisis. In fact, pollination services are in growing demand while supply continues to be reduced by environmental degradation. Agriculture's need for pollination is growing, but with bee-loss rates peaking to up to 50% in some regions in Europe, it is hard to satisfy the demand.
Guerriat points towards a more holistic approach when considering the issue at hand. A lack of pollinator services affects not only pollinators and agriculture but also unbalances the ecosystem. As pollinators decrease, so do the wild fruits, vegetables and grains, affecting wild animals and insects. A decrease in food implies a decrease in animals depending on it, which extends to their predators.
The problem, as is presented, reveals that the pollinators crisis goes beyond honeybees. The ecosystem, along with its biodiversity, is at the hands of sustainable practices that limit the ongoing environmental degradation.
Guerriat H, How to be Successful in Beekeeping, 2017