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March 3 2013

Could Disappearing Wild Insects Trigger a Global Crop Crisis?

Insect pollination is crucial for the healthy development of our favorite foods, from apples and avocados to cucumbers and onions. Of the 100 crop species that provide 90 percent of the global population’s food, nearly three-quarters rely on pollination by bees. The rest need beetles, flies, butterflies, birds and bats to act as pollinators. It’s a mutually beneficial system—the flowers of most crops require pollen from another plant of the same crop to produce seeds or fruits, and bees and other critters transfer pollen from one plant to the next as they drink a flower’s nectar.

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