Flash Forward: Buzz Off

In this episode we travel to a world without bees. And not just honey bees, all bees.

You’ve probably heard a lot of doom and gloom predictions about what might happen if honey bees went extinct. Mass famine! The end of coffee! World economic collapse! But is that all true? (Probably not.) And how likely is a honeybee extinction anyway? (Extremely unlikely.) Plus, what about all the other bees in the world? We ponder these questions and more in this episode.

To walk us through what might happen to agriculture if bees went away, I talked to Marcelo A. Aizen, a researcher who studies plant pollinator interactions. His research suggests that the loss of honeybees might not be as dire as everybody claims. And to talk about the more neglected bees out there, I called up Elaine Evans, a professor at the University of MInnesota’s Bee Lab, and Paige Embry, the author of the forthcoming book Our Native Bees: North America’s Endangered Pollinators and the Fight to Save Them.

Plus, a little bonus “what if” at the end, featuring cartoonist Dean Yeagle, the man who drew the original Honey Nut Cheerios bee.

Further reading:

 

Full transcript available in site.


Science Topics
Biology, Ecology, Endangered Species, Zoology
Animals
Bees & Wasps
High School
9th Grade, 10th Grade, 11th Grade, 12th Grade, Adults

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