Unexpected Impacts by Pollinators

Most people are aware of how pollinators influence things like flowers and food, but what else do they affect?

One lesser-known beneficiary of pollinators is the most popular fabric worldwide, cotton. While not dependent on insect pollination, bees help increase the crop's yield allowing farmers to produce substantially more cotton. Without this increased boost in supply from pollinators, cotton would be a more expensive commodity, so it's worth thinking about the next time you buy a new shirt.

Similar to cotton, coffee is an everyday product that many people may not know is supported by bees. Bees have been found to improve coffee bean yields by 20-25%. Along with the economic impact this would have on the price of coffee, many small-time farmers may not make enough profit to support their families without this additional production from bees.

Many animals benefit from pollinators as well. Alfalfa is an insect-pollinated crop that is very nutritious for mammals ranging from rabbits and mice to deer and elk. Alfalfa is also a preferred crop that farmers use to feed their cattle on beef and dairy farms.

These are just a few examples of ways pollinators make an impact that goes unnoticed by most people.

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