As we said in our last post, most of our country’s most prominent pollinators are in dire condition. Honeybees, who are responsible for 80% of US crop pollination, could be extinct by 2035. Though implementing better pollinator diversity could help alleviate this issue, other major pollinators like bumbles and butterflies are on similar trajectories towards endangerment.
The question some are starting to ask is what happens if all of our pollinators die?
A World Without Pollinators
There would undoubtedly be far reaching consequences on both an economic and environmental scale if our pollinators died out. Right now, just losing the honeybee would result in crops like blueberries, cherries, and almonds disappearing almost entirely. If all pollinators died, global fruit supplies would decrease by 23%, nuts and seeds by 22%, and vegetables by 16%.
The fruits, vegetables, nuts, and spices that remained in stores would likely see a significant increase in price. Though we wouldn’t see outright starvation happen here in the US, many would face vitamin deficiency as they’re unable to afford a balanced diet.. This in turn would decrease overall quality of life and put further strain on our country’s healthcare system.
Meanwhile, farmers who rely on animal pollinated crops would see much of their market dry up. They would likely be forced to plant wind-pollinated crops, which could then cause a market surplus, diminishing profits for more farmers across the board.
Even now, many farmers, manufacturers, and even consumers have faced the consequences of pollinator decline as yields for honeybee-pollinated crops have suffered.
What Are the Chances of Losing Our Pollinators?
Based off current data, if nothing changed about the way the world farmed or the rate at which we remove native habitat, it’s very possible we could see most major pollinators disappear in our lifetime. Thankfully, there is still time to make changes. In fact, many farmers, landowners, and even gardeners are already taking conscious actions to create pollinator habitat, diversify pollinator presence, and reduce the use of harmful chemicals.
In our next post, we’ll talk further about what farmers can do to help turn the tide of pollinator decline.
In the meantime, if you’re interested in establishing pollinator habitat while still making a profit on your land, contact FDCE today! We’ve worked with countless farmers, landowners, solar contractors, and local communities to establish thriving pollinator habitats across the US.