The Collapse of a Species
If I told you that pizza as you know it could very well drop off of the face of the earth within the next decade, how would you react? What about ice cream? Or persimmons, apples, pears and strawberries? If you’re from New York, that first question alone might’ve given you a heart attack. My apologies.
The staple cheese on pizza is mozzarella. Mozzarella is made from milk, which comes from dairy cows, specifically dairy cows that graze on alfalfa, a plant pollinated by three species of bees. Nearly a third of all food consumed by humans in North America is the result of pollination by those very creatures. That constitutes a $12 billion industry in the United States alone. So what’s the problem?
Within the last decade, 60% of the American honeybee population has died. The figures become increasingly alarming as we approach the present. In the winter of 2006, 32% of the population died. The following year, 36 percent. To put these numbers in perspective, picture a million beehives.
Now picture them all dead.