Pollination is responsible—at least in part—for 75% of the world’s food crops. But to pollinate plants, you need pollinators, and the U.N. says pollinators are coming dangerously close to extinction.

According to NPR, the United Nations report drew from 40 sources to come to a conclusion that pollinator species are dying off at much too high of a rate. About 40% of invertebrate pollinators like butterflies and bees are facing extinction, while the numbers for their backboned counterparts suggest that about 16% face extinction.


Other than honey, bees and butterflies pollinate coffee, cacao, and a whole lot more foodstuff that consumers can’t get enough of. Pollinators affect more than $250 billion worth of products in total every year, so their extinction could mean just as much for business as it could for our chocolate supply. Researchers tie the disappearance of pollinators to changes in land use, pesticides, invading species, and global warming.


There are things we can do to help reverse the trends, though. and they all have to do with being a little more environmentally friendly. Quit using pesticides, plant some things that are actually indigenous to your area, and maybe tend to some bees in your backyard. It’s the least you could do, and at the end of the day you’ll have some free honey.

[via NPR]