Whether or not Einstein equated bee extinction to human extinction has been challenged and perhaps debunked. He may have never said anything close to that. After all, he was a physicist, not a biologist. But no matter. The diversity of our crops is highly dependent on pollinators, predominantly by honey bees and somewhat further by butterflies.
In 1976, retired apiculturist S.E. McGregor, from the USDA’s Agriculture Research Service (ASR), wrote a paper in 1976 entitled “Economics of Plant Pollination”. After mentioning that some plants are wind or self pollinated, McGregor stated, “… it appears that perhaps one-third of our total diet is dependent, directly or indirectly, upon insect-pollinated plants.”
In his 1976 paper, McGregor also points out, “Another value of pollination lies in its affect on quality and efficiency of crop production. Inadequate pollination can result not only in reduced yields but also in delayed yield and a high percentage of culls or inferior fruits. In this connection, Gates (1917) warned the grower that, … ‘without his pollinating agents, chief among which are the honey bees, to transfer the pollen from the stamens to the pistil of the blooms, his crop may fail.’”
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