Faced with climate change coffee needs bees

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Global warming threatens up to 88% of Latin American plantations. Indeed, studies have shown that climate change is likely to affect agriculture: changes in temperature and rainfall may reduce coffe production in some areas while making new places suitable for the crop. Especially, mountainous areas will become breeding ground where temperatures should be able to sustain not only coffee cultivation but also more vigorous populations of bees.

Not everything seems lost: a key role could be playd by bees.

Times like this when agricultural production is threatened by climate change, ecosystem services provided by forests, pollination at first, can help farmers cope and adapt. An international study published by the journal Pnas suggest that: for the first time there is an analyis of the “global waming” impact not only on coffee plantations but on pollinating bees too.

“If there are bees in coffee plants,” explains the study’s lead author, Pablo Imbach of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), “these are very efficient and good at pollination”, so this would lead to increase productivity and weight of grains. Several species of bees presence could be an unexpected lifeline for coffee.

Photo: Pietro Bianchi Marzoli