Hand-pollination replaces bees in Sichuan

For 3,000 years, farmers in China’s Sichuan province pollinated their fruit trees the old-fashioned way: they let the bees do it. Flowers produce nectar that attracts bees, which inadvertently transfer sticky grains of pollen from one flower to another, fertilizing them so they bear fruit. When China rapidly expanded its pear orchards in the 1980s, it stepped up its use of pesticides, and this age-old system of pollination began to unravel.

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3 Responses to Hand-pollination replaces bees in Sichuan

  1. Mary says:

    Is this still the case? Why not just import some bees from elsewhere?

  2. eivindm says:

    Good question. I don’t know actually.

  3. Owen says:

    The residual effects of the pesticides are still there effecting the bees