That’s just the humans, and not the hundreds of billions of earth’s herbivores and the carnivores dependent on them.
It’s a threat directly resulting from the massive agricultural use of pesticides and other chemicals.
From Agence France Presse:
About 1.4 billion jobs and three-quarters of all crops depend on pollinators, researchers said Monday warning of a dire threat to human welfare if the falls in bee and butterfly numbers are not halted.
“World food supplies and jobs are at risk unless urgent action is taken to stop global declines of pollinators,” said a statement from the University of Reading, whose researchers took part in the global review.
Animal pollination directly affects about three-quarters of important crop types, including most fruits, seeds and nuts and high-value products such as coffee, cocoa and oilseed rape.
There are some 20,000 species of bees responsible for fertilising more than 90 percent of the world’s 107 major crops.
Bee populations have been hit in Europe, North America and elsewhere by a mysterious phenomenon called “colony collapse disorder”, which has been blamed on mites, a virus or fungus, pesticides, or a combination of factors.
The authors of the review called for measures to protect pollinators against farming’s worst side-effects.