We have pollinators to thank for every third mouthful we eat. Not only do they pollinate our food crops, but they’re also vital for the survival of other wild plants that support so much of our wildlife.
The recent European Red List for Bees reports that almost one in ten species of wild bee face extinction. Three bumblebee species have become extinct in recent decades, and over the past 50 years, half the bee, butterfly and moth species studied in the 2013 State of Nature Report have declined.
We can directly link these declines to changes in the way we farm. The intensification of agriculture has led to the destruction of habitat, and what is left is becoming increasingly fragmented. Further habitat loss is driven by urbanisation, and insect pollinators are also affected by the heavy use of pesticides and herbicides, the effects of climate change, and disease.