Ten measures to save the bees

Experts in pollination worldwide, between which is the Dr Leonardo Galetto of Argentina, go to the governments to avoid the disappearance of the pollenizers; the recommendations were published in the prestigious magazine Science http://science.sciencemag.org/content/354/6315/975.full

Near three quarters of the species cultivated in the world they benefit to a certain extent by the action of pollenizers. They are birds, bats and insects, as the beetles, flies, butterflies, and more than 20 thousand species of bees, that transport the pollen of the masculine part - stamen of the flower towards the feminine one - stigma, and that when depositing itself envelope she germinates and fertilizes ova. From this process fruits and seeds of wild and worked plants arise.

cid_image002_jpg01d2470fDuring last the two years, a group of around 70 investigators realised a report that was published this year. From those results, 12 of these scientists (of the United Kingdom, Sweden, EE. UU., Mexico, Australia, Argentina, Brazil and Japan) wrote up a work that includes ten policies that would have to be taken as rapidly as possible to revert the threats to these members of the ecosystems.

These suggestions recently were published in the prestigious Science magazine. The Argentine investigator Leonardo Galetto, investigator superior of the Conicet in the Institute of Multidisciplinary of Vegetal Biology (IMBIV, CONICET-UNC), is one of the authors of the work.

One registers a loss and disappearance of the diversity of pollenizers. In some places or he is documented, as for example in the United States or Europe, whereas in others the less, but the same tendency is seen. One of the main problems associated with the disappearance of pollenizers and, with them, the ecosist©micos services, is its relation with the food production. Its disappearance has consequences on the production of fruits and seeds.

Many cultures depend on the pollenizers, but all they do not do it in the same measurement. There are some highly employees as the coffee, and if they are not the pollenizers its production falls dramatically. Or some fruits as those of the family of the cherimoya that very have a specialized pollination or the Cucurbit¡cea family where they are the zapallos, watermelons and melons. Other groups depend a little less, but somehow all are affected.

According to an interview that published journalist Nora Bar in the La Naci³n newspaper Thursday 24 of November:

Doctor Galetto, which is the situation of the pollenizers in the country?

- In the country there are several groups of investigation that work in relation to this problematic one. In center of Argentina we worked during many years with the pollination in native plants and we more recently studied it in sunflower, soybean and oilseed rape, three important cultures that they depend on the pollenizers in different measurement. There we saw that with the loss of biodiversity, you render them fall. There is another group in Bariloche that works in the valley of the Negro River with pear and apple and also noticed the same. Also it is investigated in Buenos Aires, Tucuman and Mendoza.

Which are the main causes of the loss of biodiversity of pollenizers?

They are several and they are articulated. Most important it is than the agricultural production less is diversified. Every time one lies down more to monocultures with a uniform technology in great extensions in which it is depended much on the use of pesticides, the agro-chemical ones to control the vegetal weeds, and on insecticides. Another problem is that along with the advance of the agricultural border places of natural vegetation are lost where the pollenizers take place to reproduce and to have other food sources.

At what they point the recommendations that propose?


Photo: Dr Marcelo Casimiro

On the one hand the governments would have to support the diversification in the agricultural production and not to lie down to depend on a few cultures. That diversification is related to the nourishing sovereignty and food safety since a diverse diet is guaranteed and of quality for the population. In addition we suggested to make an integrated handling of plagues and to reduce the use of traditional pesticides. Another axis is the development of scientific knowledge to evaluate lethal effects on native pollenizers, that are an emptiness of enormous knowledge. That would even improve the present agricultural practices.


Sometimes with simple practices. For example the bees in the morning have activity in the first hours until the noon, if one suppressed to the application of pesticides in those schedules the mortality of pollenizers would be much smaller. Another suggestion is to stimulate with tax reduction the possibility of realising organic cultures in diverse systems. They are opportunities to change the present agricultural practices and to generally guarantee the conservation of the biodiversity and the pollenizers in particular.

Why are the suggestions directed to the governments?

It is a subject that leans in the conservation of the biodiversity but it is related to a problematic general: the quality of the feeding. There is a question behind this subject: what class of diet and what quality we want to have? For that reason the axis is put in different suggestions from the politicians who have different responsibilities in the governments, and who are those that makes the decisions on these so important subjects for the society. The scientist is a social actor more between many. The idea was to contribute a vision with scientific base so that it is a starting point on which to discuss the best way to handle our atmosphere, but we understand that it is a point of view more among others. This does not have center in the economic yield or a cortoplacista interest. They are complex subjects, first is to install them, to begin to spread them, that the society reflects and altogether it decides the best way.