Insect Week 2024: Why are pollinators valuable for growers? - Fruit & Vine

Insect Week 2024: Why are pollinators ‘incredibly valuable’ for fruit growers?

Today marks the start of Insect Week. The celebration, initiated by the Royal Entomological Society, encourages people to learn about insects from a range of experts.

Today marks the start of Insect Week initiated by the Royal Entomological Society, which encourages people to learn about insects.

The event has been supported by a number of partner organisations with interests in science, natural history and conservation of insects. 

A spokesperson for the Royal Entomological Society said: “Over one million species of insects have been described and named worldwide. 

“There are more than 24,000 species in the UK alone, and we can find insects in almost every habitat.  

“They can be pollinators, predators, pests, parasites and prey, and their study is an important part of conservation, food production, medicine and ecology.” 

Dependent on bees 

The Soil Association has spoken about the importance of pollinators to successfully produce fruit and flowers. 

This is usually done by flying insects such as honeybees, bumblebees, flies, beetles and wasps. 

The association’s spokesperson said: “We need bees to fertilise many of our crops. Butterflies, moths and other insects pollinate too, but bees are estimated to provide billions of dollars’ worth of pollination services to farmers worldwide.  

“Many of the world’s food crops depend on insect and animal pollination to some degree. Pollinators are essential for growing many different fruits, nuts and berries.  

“There are around 70 crops in the UK that depend or benefit from bee pollination.” 

READ MORE: Bee Day 2024: Can fruit growing sector survive without bees?

Incredibly valuable 

A spokesperson for the Soil Association added that pollination by honey bees, wild bees and bumblebees is “incredibly valuable” for farmers.  

It is estimated that it would cost UK farmers £1.8 billion a year to pollinate their crops manually if wild bees disappeared.  

“Clearly, it would be an incredibly laborious and enormously expensive task for farmers and growers to manually pollinate their trees and crops.  

“Sadly, this is already the case in some parts of China where natural pollinators have disappeared,” they concluded. 

Insect Week takes place between 24th and 30th June 2024. Those interested in learning more about insects and wanting to join competitions are encouraged to visit the Insect Week website

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