Thought for Food Blog

Insect Pollinators and Food Security

Posted by Dave Howard

01-Feb-2013 09:38:00

Many of the world’s most valuable crops, including apples, coffee, tomatoes are pollinated by insects. Wild bees, however, are the unsung heroes for our food security and not honeybees as previously thought. In the UK, for example, crops including strawberries, runner beans, and, increasingly oilseed rape, are pollinated by other insects.

There is mounting evidence that honeybee hive numbers are in a long-term state of decline in many developed nations. Analysis of hive numbers indicates that current UK populations are only capable of supplying 34% of the nation's pollination needs, falling from 70% in 1984.

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Topics: food security, pollination, bees, agriculture

Honey - The Bees Have Buzzed Off!

Posted by Naomi McGrath

02-Nov-2011 13:03:00

Honey has long been consumed by humans. Reports suggest that it has been collected for at least 10,000 years, and, in addition to its use as a food source, it also has cultural and religious significance in many countries. Furthermore, honey has an extensive history of use in health care for the treatment of a multiplicity of ailments.

Among the many health benefits attributed to honey are its favourable effects on cardiovascular health. Compared to other sugar sources, evidence suggests that consumption of honey can lead to more modest rises in blood glucose and insulin. It has also been found to lower blood lipids and LDL-cholesterol, and elevate HDL-cholesterol.

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Topics: cancer, antioxidants, pollination, pesticides, bees, honey, cholesterol, agriculture, cardiovascular health, environment and sustainability

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