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Thread: Pollinators in decline in China

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    Senior Member Greengage's Avatar
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    Default Pollinators in decline in China


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    Senior Member Greengage's Avatar
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    I would have thought more would have commented.
    But do you know the story is not actually true.
    Dr. Tang was irked at being misquoted on hand pollination in a recent documentary (though he speaks perfect English, the filmmakers asked him to speak in Chinese and then wrote in subtitles with slightly different information). He wished to inform me straight away: “Hand pollination in Sichuan is 100% an economic issue.”
    http://wblomst.com/writing/pollination.html

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    Senior Member prakel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greengage View Post
    Dr. Tang was irked at being misquoted on hand pollination in a recent documentary (though he speaks perfect English, the filmmakers asked him to speak in Chinese and then wrote in subtitles with slightly different information).
    Which recent documentary is this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Greengage View Post
    He wished to inform me straight away: “Hand pollination in Sichuan is 100% an economic issue.”
    Reassuring to know.

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    Senior Member Greengage's Avatar
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    Ill have a look for the documentary when I get time, The article also appeared in Mark Grossman blog Sept 2013 https://marklgrossmann.wordpress.com...ee-apocalypse/
    It is also referenced in Randy Olivers blog. He was in Tullamore today interesting guy to listen too.

    The doc appeared in National geographic in Asia a celebration of 30 years and it is called How bees are disappearing.
    Last edited by Greengage; 18-09-2016 at 11:06 PM.

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    Senior Member prakel's Avatar
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    This article is quite interesting, with a surprisingly balanced view despite the title:

    These cultivators hide nothing about their techniques. Yet when it comes to the reasons that force them to replace insects, their answers become vaguer. From the top of his tree, Kang Zhaogui, 49, claims that the fall of the bee population has been clear here since the 1990s.

    -----------------------------------------


    But, most importantly, Tang observes that the younger generation is more attracted to the city lights than to the prospect of working as a beekeeper carrying his hives from one village to another. All these elements, the environmental expert hopes, could encourage farmers to adopt “sustainable” practices, that would likely allow bees to resume their work.

    When Humans Are Forced To Replace The Bees They Killed by Harold Thibault 2014
    https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rc...Kcl9tCpxu8tcfw

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    Senior Member Greengage's Avatar
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    Some journalists have not hesitated to make a connection with the Great Leap Forward, a campaign launched by Mao Zedong in 1958 that led to the Great Famine. Chinese people were asked to get rid of the sparrows that were “stealing” people’s grains, which, in turn, led to the proliferation of insects — and, eventually, to the mass spraying of insecticides.

    Read the full article: When Humans Are Forced To Replace The Bees They Killed
    http://www.worldcrunch.com/tech-scie...huan/c4s15784/

    Did I also not come across something similar wherby Hitler was responsible for the loss of habitat for pollinators in England. The story goes something like this, during the second world war Britian had the dig for victory campaign wherby lots of grassland meadows were dug up to plant crops for food lots of synthetic chemicals were needed to encourage growth and the once nutrient rich meadows were now flooded with chemicals, these lead to a decline in meadow rich species favouring pollinators.
    I remember where i saw it A sting in the tale by dave Goulson. https://books.google.ie/books?id=MeK...hitler&f=false

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    Senior Member prakel's Avatar
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    I'm sure that there's far more to this hand pollination business than a 'one size fits all' soundbite but that's been fairly clear from the very start to those of us who've seen this footage over the last decade(?) or so. Interesting arguments from Professor Tang who also appears here (a very interesting resource):

    Deforestation and reforestation. Bumblebees generally are not abundant in closed canopy forest, but are more abundant around forest edges and in more open areas within the forests that support more of their food plants (e.g. Bowers, 1985; Williams, 1988, 1991). In Sichuan, meadows and forest edges in the upper forest zone of the mountainous areas support a large proportion of the species found in the recent surveys (59% of the SCR bumblebee species are recorded reliably between 2000–3000 m). Recent field work (Tang Ya et al., unpublished data) in the southwest of Sichuan (Ningnan County) shows that decreases in the area of forest and increases in the area used for agriculture are associated with decreases in counts of bees. It is unknown as yet which bumblebee species are most affected. A large national reforestation programme has been implemented in China, particularly in the western areas. The aim is to convert agricultural land on steeper slopes back to forested land. This programme is expected to affect bumblebee populations, particularly if it were accompanied by a decrease in pesticide use, but data are unavailable as yet.

    Agriculture. A particular feature of our distribution maps for the SCR is that several bumblebee species, formerly widespread at lower altitudes around and within the Sichuan Basin (e.g. B. atripes, B. trifasciatus, B. breviceps, B. flavescens, B. ignitus) and apparently still common elsewhere in China, have not been recaptured during the authors’ recent surveys. Although there may be several possible explanations for this, one factor that deserves consideration is that it may be the result of changes in agricultural land use. Agricultural changes are believed to be important factors in the declines of many European bumblebees (e.g. Kosior et al., 2007) and this has also been suggested for China (Yang, 1999). Changes in agricultural land use within the SCR have been rapid in recent years, with a particular increase in cultivation
    of economic trees and cash crops. This could have a negative impact on bumblebees. Based on recent field work (Tang Ya et al., unpublished data), bumblebees are less abundant in areas with cash crops such as tobacco, apple and pear, compared with areas with crops such as maize or potato. The effect could also be related to an increased intensity in the use of insecticides and herbicides with some crops.

    ---------------------------

    Changes in agricultural land use within the SCR have been rapid in recent years, with a particular increase in cultivation of economic trees and cash crops. This could have a negative impact on bumblebees. Based on recent field work (Tang Ya et al., unpublished data), bumblebees are less abundant in areas with cash crops such as tobacco, apple and pear, compared with areas with crops such as maize or potato. The effect could also be related to an increased intensity in the use of insecticides and herbicides with some crops

    The bumblebees of Sichuan (Hymenoptera:Apidae, Bombini) by Williams, Tang, Yao & Cameron 2009

    https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rc...Y2Cbsnv2bpYHIA
    Last edited by prakel; 19-09-2016 at 08:59 AM.

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    Senior Member chris's Avatar
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    "In 1999, the problem of poor fruit set was widespread throughout the Hindu Kush regions of Nepal, China, Pakistan, and India. Hand pollination was widely practiced through the entire region. However, by 2011, only apple growers in the Maoxian region of China were still hand pollinating."

    Most varieties of pear are parthenocarpic.This would be fine for the peasant who didn't need to commercialize his pears The main reason for needing pollination would be to have fruit that is more regular in size,shape sweetness,maturation time,etc.The above quote states that hand pollination was already going on, which suggests that already there were not enough insect pollinators for mass production. Perhaps not a decline, but a continued low level of insect pollinators?

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    Senior Member prakel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris View Post
    The above quote...
    An interesting article, from a solid source rather than the average journalist.
    Last edited by prakel; 19-09-2016 at 09:19 AM.

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    Senior Member Greengage's Avatar
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    Where was the above quote from Chris, appreciate all the info relating to the article in the original post.

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