There are already places that are losing bees.
The honey bee is completely absent from Southern Sichuan Province, China.
Heavy pesticide use started in the 1980s and has cause local extinction of bees. Human workers have to pollinate crops because there are so little bees.
The pollen from fruit trees has to be gathered and carefully prepared, then manually dusted onto hundreds of thousands of flowers with tiny brushes made with feather down.
It is a difficult and an expensive venture.
It would cost the U.S. about 90 billion dollars a year.
Scientists discovered reactive pollutants in diesel that destroyed chemical in the odor of oilseed flowers that makes them smell different to the bees.
“Honeybees have a sensitive sense of smell and an exceptional ability to learn and memorize new odors,” said Tracey Newman, a neuroscientist at the University of Southampton.
“The [effect of diesel fumes on flower scent] could have serious detrimental effects on the number of honeybee colonies and pollination activity.”
One-third of food needs to be pollinated by insects. Honey bees are responsible for most it. With 4,000 species of bees in North America with numerous other pollinators.
There is constant news about bees dwindling down in numbers. They took a sharp dip in the 1980s because of the introduction of the varroa mite and a second sharp drop in the past few years with what is called Colon Collapse Disorder.
If all the honeybees disappeared, it would be terribly catastrophic for agriculture and would suffer. But, over time other pollinators would take over all the tasks that are being performed today.
That would require changes in agriculture to meet the pollinators’ needs like nesting habitat, diversity of crops, protection from pesticides and more.