It’s no secret that the world’s pollinators, particularly bees, are dying off in alarming numbers, and we are at a tipping point for our food systems and biodiversity. If the pollinators go, so do we.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recently published an eye-opening and quite frankly alarming report indicating that when we lose pollinators, we lose our food supply; our ecosystems and the overall environment can collapse. No bees and birds and butterflies to pollinate flowers, no food from plants.
The study compared 344 food plots across Africa, Asia and Latin America and saw a significantly lower crop yield at locations where there were fewer pollinators. It demonstrated that pollinators make a huge difference: on farms of just two hectares, some increased their yields by an average of 24% just be attracting more pollinators. Basically, global agriculture is completely dependent on pollinators for food production – just as insects and birds depend on agricultural diversity.
To help combat this, the not-for-profit legends at FoodFaith are establishing a “B&B Highway” – an airborne bed & breakfast route across Sydney for birds, bees and butterflies. They are specially designed pollinating community gardens that provide flowering plants throughout the year, as well as a native stingless bee hives and water. Four have already been established by FoodFaith, with a further four currently being developed.
Ideally, there should be food and shelter for bees every 500 metres but this is becoming more and more scarce as our cities continue to grow in density so FoodFaith is crowdfunding to build more pollinating gardens around Sydney and create the B&B Highway.
The FAO report also states that climate change represents an additional concern, especially for bees, due to rising global temperatures. Due to all the crazy weather climate change brings with it, flowers are also opening at different times and sometimes the bees just aren’t around to pollinate it.
You can attract pollinators to your own garden by establishing the Birds & Bees look – find the look and the plant list in the Plant Life Balance app. Download the app for free from the App Store or Google Play.