Conventional Farming and Pollinators

image While many people know organic produce is better for their health, some don’t realize just how beneficial it is to the environment. Sustainability is another great reason to choose organic over conventional.

I was surprised to learn that while there are over 4,000 different types of native bees and other pollinators in North America, honeybees are not actually native to the U.S. They were brought here by the first European settlers. Native pollinators depend on “weeds” for pollen when the primary crops are not in bloom. With the widespread use of pesticides and herbicides, weeds have been eliminated and woodlands that serve as a nesting place for native pollinators have also been reduced. Large commercial farms have actually become dependent on honeybees to ensure pollination. This has put great strain on the honeybee population because they are shipped from place to place to pollinate various crops and are forced to work when they normally would be dormant.

Source: “Busy Bees” by Tom Christopher - Martha Stewart Living Magazine, June 2008

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