[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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