On costs of pollinator loss
- I've seen this kind of event over and over in my career as a commercial beekeeper. While the specific dollar amounts are variable, the actual storyline is genuine. It is written by Kim Flottum, one of the most knowledgeably honey bee persons in the world today.
The massive spraying after Hurricane Hugo (1989) in South Carolina had a highly significant effect on the vine crops (watermelon, canteloupe, squash and cucumbers) for two or three years afterward.
Most of these events never are reported to authorities or to the media. Beekeepers get cynical and figure that the pesticide cops aren't going to enforce the law. They try to move away - but often can't find safe places to move to, or like myself, retire earlier than planned.
What isn't stated - and what is relevant to this list - is the unreported and generally unknown effects on wild bees. Here in cotton country, label violations of bee directions are the norm rather than compliance.
We really need some grad student researchers to do more documentation - and we need courageous folks in appropriate positions to stand up to these ongoing violations.
Retired pollination specialist