Friday, January 22, 2010

Bee Decline Linked to Falling Biodiversity

A new study provides evidence that bee decline is linked to falling plant diversity and a greater prevalence of agricultural monocultures:

Bees fed pollen from a range of plants showed signs of having a healthier immune system than those eating pollen from a single type, scientists found.

Writing in the journal Biology Letters, the French team says that bees need a fully functional immune system in order to sterilise food for the colony.

Other research has shown that bees and wild flowers are declining in step.

Fascinating -- and a further reminder that protecting biodiversity isn't just about distant rainforests and pretty furry animals.  It's very much about protecting human well-being -- including the viability of our food production systems.

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