Alternate Pollinators

Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)  flower.

If you click on the picture above, and blow it up, check out the winged pollinator flying in for a meal in the upper right corner.  The picture below shows a closeup of the flies.

This got me to thinking about alternate pollinators.  I shouldn’t even call them “alternate”, but that shows my thinking before I researched.  There are an estimated 200,000 wild pollinators, mostly insects, not one of them considers itself an alternate.

Everyone gives a lot of credit to honey bees, and the media was in an uproar over “Colony Collapse Disorder,” CCD, but I found out bees are not native to North America.  There are no native plants which require bees for pollination.

Bees are valuable for agriculture.  Some crops are highly dependent upon bees for pollination.  Some beekeepers are paid more to place their hives in Almond orchards than they receive for the honey produced.

A beekeeper friend of mine thought CCD was overblown.  He said, “Get the government to stop allowing the Chinese to import corn syrup mixed with honey, and the price of pure honey will go up, and beekeepers will find a way to combat CCD.  I for one don’t truck my hives all over the country chasing big dollars.  You know the bees mix with other hives and they come back home with every disease known to bees.”

The media turned a human economic problem into an environmental disaster.  The only real problem is to large-scale agriculture.  Plants will be pollinated, fruit will grow, some bees will survive.  To quote Jurassic Park, “Life will find a way.”

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