Pollinators Improve Crop Yield Stability

Scientists at the University of Reading in the UK analyzed years of data on the poorly understood effect of pollinators on crop yield stability. They found there was 32% less variation in the yields of apple, faba bean, and oilseed rape plants visited by bees and other pollinators than those grown in absence of pollinators. The study, published in the journal Ecology Letters, suggests that pollinators can help to mitigate supply issues and market shocks that cause global price spikes by holding food supplies steady. Dr. Jake Bishop, a crop science researcher who led the study, said, “Our findings suggest that preserving pollinators provides a double benefit, reducing fluctuations in food supplies as well as boosting supplies in the first place.”