[NAFEX] honeybees and Einstein
road's end farm
organic101 at linkny.com
Tue Apr 17 23:14:00 EDT 2007
On Apr 17, 2007, at 1:43 PM, Brungardt, Sam [quoted someone else as
> Albert Einstein -- if not a bee expert, a relatively smart guy --
> once said that in the absence of the busy crop pollinators, humans
> "would have only four years of life left."
This particular quote has shown up a lot in bee loss discussions.
If Einstein actually said this, could somebody tell me where, when,
and/or to whom he did so?
Even if he did say it, this was hardly his field.
If we lost the bees, there would certainly be major agricultural and
other ecological disruptions. There would certainly be major
disruptions in food supplies for humans. I don't want to minimize the
importance of honeybees. However, there are lots of plants, including
plants which are eaten by humans and plants eaten by animals which are
then eaten by humans, which are not dependent on bees for pollination;
and many plants ordinarily pollinated by honeybees are also pollinated
by other insects, though not always as efficiently. We might well lose
some population; but it's not likely that the disappearance of
honeybees would wipe out the entire human species.
Exaggerating a problem doesn't always make people take you more
seriously. Sometimes it makes them quit listening altogether; which
would be a shame, in this case, as there obviously is a real problem,
whatever's causing it.
Finger Lakes NY; zone 5 mostly
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