Pollination, biodiversity and our well-being: everything is interconnected

Issue – Pollination, biodiversity and our well-being: everything is interconnected

Beeodiversity issue

Pollination, biodiversity and us

On average, more than 30% of bee colonies disappear in Belgium every year. The acceptable rate is 10%... This is an excellent indicator of the extent to which pollinators in general (bees, butterflies, beetles, etc.) are threatened.

Yet, the well-being of pollinators and man is closely interlinked! That fact is not purely an environmental one, it also happens to be an economic reality.

Pollination is the manner in which most flowers reproduce. It entails the process of carrying a pollen grain from the stamen (male organ) to the pistil (female organ) which allows plants to be fertilised. More often than not, pollen grains are carried by pollinating insects (entomophilous pollination), in the main, bees.

Biodiversity and food diversity are by and large the result of this fertilisation process.

Food diversity: For 30% of our food, we directly depend on pollinators. E.g.: tree fruit production (pears, apples, cherries, plums, etc.), soft fruit (strawberries, redcurrants, raspberries etc.), market gardening (gherkins, cucumbers, melons…), seed production (carrots, salads, chicory, etc.), oil production (rape, sunflower, flaxseed, etc.).

Some studies deem that if bees were to disappear, Belgium would have to import an extra 20 to 40% of its food with all the ensuing and obvious negative effects on the economy, energy consumption, health, etc. Now, if the current trend was to continue that myth could become reality within 25 to 50 years from now…. A recent study conducted at the University of Reading, England, concluded that, for all the crops to be properly pollinated, Europe would need another 13.4 million colonies of bees, i.e. another 7 billion bees.

Biodiversity: proper fertilisation of plant species by pollinators is essential if part of the flora and fauna are to be conserved (food, reproduction…).

And man? Pollinators have real value:

  • Economic value: 84% of species we cultivate depend on pollinators. These species give us raw materials, medicines, food for humans, foodstuffs for livestock, biofuels.... The global value of the services pollinators provide amounts to approximately 153 billion euro a year.
  • Ecological value: conservation of flora and fauna has a direct or indirect impact on the quality of our water, on soil fertility and stability, on climate regulation…
  • Emotional value: pollination has a beneficial effect on our health, the quality of our green spaces, the beauty of places…
  • Ethical value: pollinators help to conserve numerous species.

Beeodiversity is…

Beeodiversity: plusieurs projets par anSeveral new projects ever year to help pollinators and boost diversity

Beeodiversity: Plusieurs milliers de graines mèllifères et pollinifères par anSeveral thousands of nectar and pollen-rich seeds every year

Beeodiversity: 250 colonies d'abeilles250 colonies of bees
Less than 5% colony losses per year

Beeodiversity: Plus de 175.000ha pollinisés par anMore than 70,000 ha pollinated every year

Beeodiversity: Plus d'un million d'abeilles offertes par anMore than one million bees offered every year

Beeodiversity: Beeodiversity: coloniesPlus de 1.500ha de terres agricoles cultivées dans le respect des abeilles par nos partenaires agriculteursMore than 1,500 ha of farmland farmed with due regard for bees

Beeodiversity: Plus d'une centaine d'apiculteurs partenairesMore than one hundred beekeeper partners

Beeodiversity: Deux conférences nationales et internationales par an organisées avec nos partenaires institutionnelsNational and international conferences organised with our institutional partners every year

Beeodiversity: Plusieurs milliers de personnes sensibilisées par an au travers de la presse et des réseaux sociauxSeveral thousands of people made aware every year


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