The decline and disappearance of bees, wild insects and other pollinators would have devastating consequences for mankind and the global food supply, the U.N. warned Monday.
"Bees support a staggering 170,000 species of plants that sustain over 200,000 animal species," General Assembly President Maria Fernanda Espinosa said on World Bee Day Monday. "They are responsible for roughly one-third of all food produced" -- including tomatoes, coffee, apples, almonds, cocoa and plants that can be used in medicines.
?The U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization says pollinators, including bees, are under threat and their numbers are falling globally primarily because of human activity, including global warming, habitat loss and too many pesticides.
Other pollinators whose populations are threatened include butterflies, hummingbirds, bats and monkeys, who pick up pollen from self-pollinating plants as the primates move through trees and the bush.
"Urgent and wide-ranging efforts are needed to protect bees across wild, agricultural and urban habitats," Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed said.
Experts say promoting bee habitats is key. They recommend people plant a variety of bee-friendly flowers and place a hollow log or tree trunk on their property, calling it an ideal shelter for pollinating insects.