Magazine
Latest Issue

Lab report

How many bees do we actually need? Nobody seems to know. Plus, stem cell research is finally put to the test

By Philip Ball   March 2009

Will there be honey still for tea?

When should we start panicking about the bees? Einstein’s often-quoted claim that without bees humankind would have only four years left is almost certainly invented, but his authority isn’t needed to make the crisis real. Bee populations are being devastated worldwide. Three of Britain’s 25 bumblebee species are now extinct, with seven more threatened. In the US, much crop pollination is now carried out by commercial, mobile bee colonies, which are themselves in a parlous state. In China, too many pesticides mean fruit trees are now often hand pollinated.

Everyone agrees that bees…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect