Chapter 4 The Pollinators

The chapter covers the ways in which pollination is important for human welfare. 

Page 105. At the start of this chapter I point out how about two thirds of crop plant species rely on animal pollination. There are a great many sources for this kind of estimate. Here is one from Science Daily:

Pages 113-114. On almond growing in California and the dependence of this industry on pollination this source gives a good summary of key points:

Pages 114-115. On hand pollination in Sichuan, China, there is a good deal published on-line. See for example this piece in Newsweek from June 14th 2008. This can be found on-line at: A short piece in China Daily can be found here:

Pages 115-116. On the beetles that pollinate oil palm, this paper gives a good overview: Caudwell, RW. Hunt, D. Reid, A. Mensah B.A and Chinchilla, C. (2003). Insect pollination of oil palm – a comparison of the long term viability and sustainability of Elaeidobious kamerunicus in Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Costa Rica, and Ghana. ASD Oil Palm Papers, No 25, 1-16. This can be found on-line at:

Page 116. On the FAO numbers concerning the proportion of crop plants relying on animal pollination, this FAO magazine article from 2005 is a good general source: For a more technical summary, this report is helpful: FAO, (2008). Tools for conservation and use of pollination services: initial survey of good pollination practices. Food and Agriculture Organisation, Rome. This can be accessed on-line at:

Page117. On how coffee quality can be improved through pollination this article has some good material: Ricketts, TH. Daily, GC. Ehrlich, PR. and Michener, CD. (2004). Economic value of tropical forest to coffee production. PNAS, 101 (34) 12579-12582. A PDF version of this paper can be accessed on-line at:

Page 117. On the research that found a difference the qualities of fruit that was insect pollinated, compared to that which was not, this article gives an outline of what was discovered:

Page 118. The estimate from TEEB that pollination services provided by animals are worth about US$190 billion per year has been widely cited. For a first-hand source for this see: TEEB (2010) The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity Report for Business - Executive Summary. UNEP. This can be found on-line at:

Page 119. On the TEEB example about the value of pollination services to Switzerland, see: Besser, T. (2010). Economic value of the pollinating service provided by bees in Switzerland. TEEB. This paper can be found through:

Page 119. For a summary of the collaboration between Syngenta and the World Resources Institute on the pollinators of blueberries, see this presentation for the key points:

Page 121. For details on the dramatic recent decline in European butterflies see this link to Butterfly Conservation: From here you will find a link into the more technical detail in the Red List of threatened species.

Page 121. For a source on pollinator decline, including birds and mammals, this paper has a lot of good material: Gary Paul Nabhan et al (1998). The Potential Consequences of Pollinator Declines on the Conservation of Biodiversity and Stability of Food Crop Yields. Conservation Biology, Pages 8–17 Volume 12, No. 1. This paper can be accessed on-line via:

Page 123. To see the Rabobank report that I mention in this chapter go to:

Page 123. On the effects of neonicotinoid pesticides on bee populations, this paper (which made front-page news) is an important source: Whitehorn, PR. et al. (2012). Neonicotinoid Pesticide Reduces Bumble Bee Colony Growth and Queen Production. Science, 20 April 2012: Vol. 336 no. 6079 pp. 351-352. This can be accessed on-line at:

Page 125. I mention work by the Co-operative and Buglife to restore wild pollinator habitats. Readers can find a summary of this work here: I mentioned a different initiative that Marks and Spencer is involved with in order to help restore pollinators. A little bit on that can be found here:

Page 128. I wrote about the reintroduction of the short-haired bumblebee in southern England. Some more background on this can be found at: