Monoculture Research Paper

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Imagine flowering plants vanishing from the earth. Imagine never again eating fruits like blueberries, strawberries, or watermelons, nuts like almonds, or vegetables like cucumbers. At the very least, imagine these everyday food items as high-priced luxuries. These dire predictions are not science fiction, but rather a very ominous and likely scenario if the honey bee population throughout the world continues to dwindle as it has been over the past decade.
Although most people know we need bees to produce honey, relatively few people realize the importance of bees for the production of food crops and other agricultural staples. All plants – ranging from agricultural food crops to plants growing in natural ecosystems – require pollination in
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In modern agriculture, monoculture (planting a single crop on the same piece of land annually) is a fairly common practice for industrial purposes. It enables farmers to save money and their crops produce more food, making the monocultural system more efficient and desirable.
Although the short-term effects of monoculture can be beneficial for farmers, the long term effects can be devastating. Monoculture harms the soil and its local ecosystem, especially insect life. The lack of plant variety in monoculture means that bees forage primarily from one plant species. However, with such a monotonous diet, the bees have less access to vital nutrients to keep them healthy.
In addition to producing an unhealthy diet, monoculture also puts significant stress on the soil. Growing the same crops year after year eventually ruins the soil and renders it useless for farming or for growing any natural plant life because the crops exhaust essential nutrients until the soil is left barren. As a result, those farming the land move on to monocrop a different, healthy piece of land – essentially restarting the entire harmful
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To meet that demand, beekeepers in recent years focus more on exporting bees to promote pollination than on honey production. According to Will Budiaman, a journalist for The Daily Meal, “Beekeepers in the United States no longer generate the majority of their revenue from sales of honey; the value of honey sold annually in the United States amounts only to $150 million a year, according to the NRDC, a mere fraction of the value of the crops pollinated by bees.” Many popular foods like strawberries, watermelons, blueberries, onions, cucumbers, and nuts require pollination. Moreover, crops like Californian almonds need about 1.6 million bee colonies imported to them each year for pollination (Grossman), according to environmental and science issues journalist Elizabeth Grossman in her article for Yale University’s Yale

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