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Plate by Pollinators

Pollinators including bees, hummingbirds and some butterflies play an integral part in global food production. According to the FAO, pollinators support approximately 35 percent of global agricultural production and 87 of the leading food crops worldwide, including almonds, apples, and broccoli. In addition, pollinators are also important actors in the price and value of food as pollination-dependent crops are five times more valuable than those that do not need pollination. 

There is a global concern over the alarming rate of pollinator species decline due to human impact. 

Researchers at the University of Guelph are exploring a variety of stress factors that are affecting pollinator health. These factors include land-use change, climate change, agrochemical usage, pests, pathogens, and management practices. This work seeks to find solutions to address the rapid extinction of pollinators and to promote best practices concerning their handling and use. 

 Without pollinators, our plates could look like this…

To avoid this image in the future researchers are working with stakeholders to improve pollination management so that our plates can continue to be filled with the seasonal harvest of fruits, vegetables and seed crops that we enjoy.

If environmental stresses were addressed and pollination management was improved, global crop yields could be increased by approximately 25 percent