Food is essential for life, and a desperate need to better secure the global food supply exists. “Some 795 million people in the world do not have enough food to lead a healthy active life”, about one in nine. “Poor nutrition causes nearly half (45%) of deaths in children under five—3.1 million children each year.” The global nature of the need is very large.
China dwarfs all other markets both in production, need and consumption. With one-sixth of the world’s population lives in China, Chinese authorities are already concerned about the fate of bees and other pollinating insects. Asia is already the continent with the most hungry people with two-thirds of the world’s under-nourished. Internally, China is the largest consumer of food crops in the world. China has the fastest growing middle class in the world. China’s national consumption of fruits and vegetables is growing rapidly as their dietary demands are changing and increasing in proportion to their increasing prosperity.
In the last 50 years, the global human population has nearly doubled, while the average calories consumed per person has increased by about 30%. Predictions state that 70% more food will be needed by 2050. At the same time, farmable land is being lost at more than a million acres a year. Drought and unusual weather causes pollination gaps which traditional farming cannot solve, no matter how many bees are brought in. Suffice it to say, there are many challenges to global food security.
Without pollination, plants don’t bear fruit. Insects are vital for the pollination of many kinds of plants. One-third of all the food we eat is insect pollinated which translates into a yearly food crop market of about US$270 billion worldwide. The USA market is US$19 billion.
Other non-food markets, such as cotton and alfalfa, can benefit from better pollination. Bees, the chief insect pollinator, have been dying off at record numbers around the world due to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).
In addition to the loss of crop yield due to CCD, prices for bee-based pollination have been on a sharp upswing. In the USA, the costs for pollinating crops, such as almonds, has increased by 400% since 2004. In response this last year, almond farmers moved 1.6 million bee hives into California almond orchards from around the USA and as far away as Australia.
CCD is a syndrome wherein all of the adult bees in a bee colony suddenly die leaving a live queen, larva, and immature bees behind. Without the adult bees, who are the workers, these survivors soon die, as well. While several theories exist, no one specific scientific cause for CCD has been proven.
However, this is not the only risk faced by bee colonies. The United States Department of Agricultural Research Services has stated:
[CCD] is far from the only risk to the health of honey bees and the economic stability of commercial beekeeping and pollination operations in the United States. Since the 1980s, honey bees and beekeepers have had to deal with a host of new pathogens from deformed wing virus to nosema fungi, new parasites such as Varroa mites, pests like small hive beetles, nutrition problems from lack of crop diversity or availability in pollen and nectar sources, and possible sub-lethal effects of pesticides. These problems, many of which honey bees might be able to survive if each were the only one, are often hitting in a wide variety of combinations, and weakening and killing honey bee colonies. CCD may even be a result of a combination of two or more of these factors and not necessarily the same factors in the same order in every instance.
CCD, drought, temperature differentiations from climate change, construction and plant disease are some of the risks farmers face globally. Because we depend on farmers for food, all other segments in the society suffer from these losses through increased food costs, poverty and hunger.
Pollineering is a agricultural company fundamentally transforming agriculture by giving farmers direct control over pollination, thus enabling greater yields while decreasing risk. Th is is done through an innovative mechanical pollination technology that addresses a large number of pollination concerns held by farmers.
Without pollination, plants cannot bear fruit. Bee colonies are vital for the pollination of many kinds of plants. A plant cannot produce more than its level of pollination, which is a major limiting factor. CCD has led to steady decline of bees at an alarming rate. Other factors, such as unusual weather or temperatures, can cause pollination gaps in cross pollinated crops, even when adequate pollinators are available. Pollineering provides the technology, products and services to optimize pollination (with or without bees) in spite of weather-caused pollination gaps. Additionally, it allows farmers to consolidate the harvest by pollinating all the plants at the same time during the blossom season.
Pollineering sources 100% natural (non-GMO) pollen for each variety of crop from outstanding suppliers which can ensure high quality and disease-free products. We use the highest quality control to insure pollen viability and purity. We then mix this pure pollen into our proprietary slurry.
Pollineering uses specially equipped electrostatic sprayer technology to spray the pollen slurry mixture on the crop. The electrostatic charge helps the pollen attach to the stigma of the flower, much like lint to a suit, to efficiently pollinate the flowers. Our licensed slurry also protects the pollen, allows a greater electrostatic charge to increase stigmatic receptivity and adhesion, and nourishes the pollen, enhancing pollen tube growth.