Where would we be without bees? As far as important species go, they are top of the list. They are critical pollinators: they pollinate 70 of the around 100 crop species that feed 90% of the world. Honey bees are responsible for £20 billion a year in crops.
That’s only the start. We may lose all the plants that bees pollinate, all of the animals that eat those plants and so on up the food chain. Which means a world without bees could struggle to sustain the global human population of 7 billion. Our supermarkets would have half the amount of fruit and vegetables.
But even though it is true that much of human existence is presently dependent on honey bees, the human race is not likely to become extinct if the bees do. Food production would decline, but not completely disappear, the grass would still be green and the world would not instantly turn into a desert in a world without bees.
There are plenty of food sources that don’t need bees to pollinate them. If the bees became extinct, the plants that depend on bees for pollination will die but wheat, barley, rye, rice, bamboo and corn are pollinated solely by the wind. Butterflies are also one of the major pollinators in addition to birds, pears can be pollinated by hand after the bees go extinct, just like in southern Sichuan. This hand pollinating process would bring hundreds of jobs where people would dip feathered sticks into pollen and dab each individual flower on each individual tree.
So if the bees were to disappear, the human race would not become extinct immediately but the price we would be paying would be hard to adapt to. The loss of most of the foods and animals we live on and with today would be gone unless we pollinated them ourselves, which would be a long and laborious job. But if we help the bees stay non of this would have to happen, its that simple.