18 May 2018 Story Ecosystems

#FridayFact: One in three spoonfuls of food depends on bees!

Can you imagine a world without apples, watermelons or chocolate? Those are just some of the foods that are almost entirely reliant on bees for pollination.

Out of the 100 crop species that provide 90% of all food consumed worldwide, 71 of these are pollinated by bees. Globally, every one in three spoonfuls of food we eat is thanks to our furry friends.

Bees certainly work hard for us. To produce 1 kilogram of honey, a bee must visit four million flowers and fly a distance equivalent to going around the Earth four times.

Yet in recent decades bee numbers have plummeted in Europe and around the world. Monoculture, the increased use of pesticides in agriculture and climate change have been found to damage bee populations[i]. Air pollution, parasites and pests may also be responsible. The General Court of the European Union on 17 May upheld a ban introduced by the European Commission on three insecticides known as neonicotinoids.

Part of UN Environment’s work aims to preserve diverse landscapes and support ecological agriculture, while pointing to the threats faced by bees and our reliance on them. For World Bee Day on 20 May, let’s not take them for granted!

Discover more on the threats faced by pollinator bees and what we can do in response here.

Boost your knowledge on environmental issues and how they affect our daily lives!

UN Environment in Europe brings you #FridayFacts showing how our work and that of others concretely helps moves towards sustainable societies.

[i][i] UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, 2018 : https://bit.ly/2k5Mons