Can bees stabilize food prices?
Bees are not only important for our ecosystem, but apparently also for our wallet. According to a recent study, targeted support and promotion of bees and other pollinators of important crops can help stabilize food prices and prevent price spikes.
Researchers at the University of Reading analyzed dietary data collected over several years. It has been found that crop yields of important crops fluctuate 32% less if bees and other pollinators regularly fly towards them. The study was recently featured in the journal Ecology Letters.
Inflation at record high
Consumers are currently annoyed by the sharp rise in prices. Droughts, wars and supply bottlenecks are the cause of the highest inflation in the Federal Republic of Germany to date. The rise in prices is particularly noticeable for groceries.
It is all the more important to use the existing resources wisely and to obtain the best possible result from the harvests. As the results of the current study show, bees and other pollinators can make a major contribution here.
Pollinators have ensured more stable food prices
According to the study, regions where pollinators of crops such as oilseeds and fruits were abundant had significantly fewer supply problems and food price spikes than regions where pollinators were deficient.
“Our results suggest that conserving pollinators has the dual benefit of reducing food supply variability and enabling food supply in the first place,” confirms Dr. Jacques Bishop.
One of the first studies of its kind
While the benefits of pollinators on crop yields are generally known, the impact on crop stability and prices has been little studied.
“Stable and predictable production of nutritious food is essential for farmers and for global food security,” said Bishop. According to him, we are currently seeing that instability and shortages can lead to dramatic increases in food prices.
Initiative to promote pollinators
The UK government, with the participation of the University of Reading, has now launched an initiative in which bees and other pollinators are to be specifically promoted. For example, 20 million wildflowers were planted at the Tower of London to support bees and raise awareness of the campaign.
Anyone can help
But everyone can help. The initiative encourages people to do five simple things they can do to support important insects:Plant more flowers, shrubs and trees. Allow areas of land to grow wild. Mow the grass less often. Do not destroy insect nests and overwintering sites. Refrain from using pesticides or reduce them to a minimum.
Author and source informationShow now
This text corresponds to the specifications of the specialized medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been verified by health professionals.
Graduate editor (FH) Volker Blasek
Sources:University of Reading: Bees boost harvests and could stabilize food prices (published 18/07/2022), reading.ac.ukBees' Needs campaign (published 14/07/2022), gov.ukJacob Bishop, Michael PD Garratt, Shinichi Nakagawa, et al. : Animal pollination increases crop yield stability across spatial scales; in: Ecology Letters (2022), onlinelibrary.wiley.com
This article contains general advice only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. It cannot substitute a visit to the doctor.