Bee numbers are declining at an alarming rate and in some places disappearing altogether, which has serious consequences for humans. Today, one third of the food we eat depends on insects to pollinate crops, fruit and vegetables. Busy bees Neil and Sam discuss what’s being done to find a solution to the problem, and teach you vocabulary along the way.
This week’s question
Bees are vital in pollinating hundreds of crops, from apples and blackberries to cucumbers. In fact, almost all plants need insects to reproduce – which is my quiz question. Of the world’s top 50 crops, how many rely on insect pollination? Is it:
a) 35 out of 50?
b) 40 out of 50?
c) 45 out of 50?
Listen to the programme to find out the answer.
process in which pollen is taken from one plant or part of a plant to another so that new plant seeds can be produced
plant reproduction in which pollen from one plant travels to the ovary of another and fertilises a female ovule to make new seeds and fruit
food, like rice or wheat, which is eaten in large amounts as part of a community’s daily diet and provides a large fraction of their energy and nutrient needs
area of land on which fruit trees are grown
structure where bees live, either built by people or made by the bees themselves
everyone having reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food that meets their dietary needs
Note: This is not a word-for-word transcript
Hello. This is 6 Minute English from BBC Learning English. I’m Neil.
And I’m Sam. How are you, Neil?
I’ve been as busy as a bee this week, Sam.
Oh, don’t you sound like the bee’s knees!
All right, Sam, there’s no need to get a bee in your bonnet!
As you can hear, English is full of idioms involving bees.
But the sad truth is that bee numbers are declining at an alarming rate and in some places disappearing altogether.
And this has serious consequences for humans.