Bees need our backing

Scientists concerned about the decline of pollinators have found something that everyone can care about: food. "If we lost all honey bees in the U.S. without any wild pollinators taking over their chores, the resulting price increases for food in the U.S. would amount to $6 to $8 billion a year," says scientist Gary Nabhan. We take for granted pollinators such as moths, butterflies, bees, bats, hummingbirds and even flies, he says, but all are affected by habitat fragmentation and pesticides. Since 1990 the U.S. has lost a quarter of its domestic honey bee hives to introduced parasites, diseases and invasions of Africanized bees. The awareness campaign hopes to make "pollinator" the new buzzword in environmental debates; the group will send out speakers, share pollinator slide sets and deliver informational booklets. Contact the Forgotten Pollinators Campaign, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, 2021 N. Kinney Road, Tucson, AZ 85743-8919 (520/883-3006), fax (520/883-2500), e-mail