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back to article UK's bumblebees face extinction

Several UK bumblebee species are heading inexorably for extinction, scientists have claimed, part of a process caused by "pesticides and agricultural intensification" which could have a "devastating knock-on effect on agriculture". Facing extinction: the Great Yellow Bumblebee (Bombus distinguendus). Pic: The Bumblebee …

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Anonymous Coward

Mead( and honey)

Not to mention the loss of all that lovely Mead......

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Einstein said:

"If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would only have four years of life left."

Just 'cos we've proved some of his other hypotheses, let's not rush into this one, eh?

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bumblebees dont make honey...

...honey bees do.

And they've got (disease) problems of their own

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Put things in perspective

I agree bumblebees are important but they probably comprise less than 2% of the pollination force. Honey bees probably comprise more than 50%. There are about 250 species of bee that pollinate plus many moths and butterflys that contribute and more than 2000 species of wasp that also form part of the food chain along with a similar number of fly species. All of them are affected by short sighted farming policies and all contribute to the necessary biodiversity.

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UPDATE

http://news.independent.co.uk/environment/wildlife/article2449968.ece

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

Bees

Bees aren't responsible for the majority of pollination. The common housefly, as well as various other flies contribute more to pollination. Domestic honey bees aren't even used all that widely for pollination of many crops, nature takes care of it. Consider this; leaf cutter bees have been used to great effect in commercial pollination, and there populations aren't collapsing at all, except in the U.S, and this is due to parasites. Some how I doubt that they navigate all that differently, either.

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The end of rape

I'm allergic to rapeseed, so any reduction would be nice.

"The end result could be the end of many rare plants and a sharp reduction in the "production of crops such as raspberries, oil-seed rape, runner beans, and broad beans"."

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