Buzz around pollinators

Feral honey bees – European bees which have escaped from hives into the wild – are surprisingly useful in Australia. They pollinate over 70% of crops that require pollination, like apples, pears, lucerne, melons, berries, canola. But with Varroa mite, a blood-sucking pest of bees, decimating the feral honey bee population globally, and set to invade Australia in the near future, what can be done to maintain pollination services?

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New food fads and functions​

I don’t know about you, but I’ve eaten some pretty strange things in my time:

  • Australian animals and ferals – camel, crocodile, kangaroo – but then who hasn’t
  • Big game in East Africa – giraffe, zebra, gazelle, eland
  • Guinea Pigs in South America
  • The eggs of the horseshoe crab in Thailand
  • A range of fungus, lichen, moss, ferns and conifers in China
  • And even part of a human placenta – although I didn’t realise it at the time – during a tribal ritual in Tanzania

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Food waste is a big global issue

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has estimated that a third of all food produced globally is wasted, that’s 1.3B tonnes.

To put that in context, the Great Pyramid at Giza weighs about 5 million tonnes. If that were food waste it would weigh about 1.4 million tonnes (because food is less dense than stone), so the amount of food waste produced globally is equivalent to just less than 1000 Great Pyramids of Giza.

That’s a lot of food.

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