CHICAGO-Most people arenâ€™t huge fans of bees, but without them we would go hungry pretty fast. The common honeybee pollinates 130 different crops within the U.S. alone including fruit, vegetables, and tree nuts to name a few. In the November 2011 issue of Food Technology magazine, published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), Contributing Editor and IFT President Roger Clemens and Contributing Editor Peter Pressman write that nearly one-third of the U.S. food supply requires the common honeybee to survive.
An emerging threat to the global food supply is called honeybee colony collapse disorder. Due to different viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites, honeybee colonies in different parts of the world are beginning to dissipate. Without honeybee pollination, some crops like almonds, pumpkins, watermelons, and some other melons would disappear completely, (Gallai et al. 2009). In the absence of the honeybee, ingredients like vanilla spice would require manual pollination that takes additional human labor, time and money.