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补!雅思9分达人TEST 4 READING PASSAGE 3真题!

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  READING PASSAGE 3

  You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 27-40, which are based on

  Reading Passage 3 below.

  Honey Bees in Trouble

  Can native pollinators fill the gap?

  Recently, ominous headlines have described a mysterious ailment, colony collapse disorder (CCD),

  which is wiping out the honeybees that pollinate many crops. Without honeybees, the story goes,

  fields will be sterile, economies will collapse, and food will be scarce.

  But what few accounts acknowledge is that what’s at risk is not itself a natural state of affairs. For

  one thing, in the United States, where CCD was first reported and has had its greatest impacts, honeybees are not a native species. Pollination in modern agriculture isn’t alchemy, it’s industry. The

  total number of hives involved in the U.S. pollination industry has been somewhere between 2.5

  million and 3 million in recent years. Meanwhile, American farmers began using large quantities of

  organophosphate insecticides, planted large-scale crop monocultures, and adopted “clean farming”

  practices that scrubbed native vegetation from field margins and roadsides. These practices killed

  many native bees outright — they’re as vulnerable to insecticides as any agricultural pest — and

  made the agricultural landscape inhospitable to those that remained. Concern about these practices

  and their effects on pollinators isn’t new, in her 1962 ecological alarm cry Silent Spring, Rachel

  Carson warned of a ‘Fruitless Fall’ that could result from the disappearance of insect pollinators.

  If that ‘Fruitless Fall’ has not — yet — occurred, it may be largely thanks to the honeybee, which

  farmers turned to as the ability of wild pollinators to service crops declined. The honeybee has been

  semi-domesticated since the time of the ancient Egyptians, but it wasn’t just familiarity that determined this choice: the bees’ biology is in many ways suited to the kind of agricultural system that was

  emerging. For example, honeybee hives can be closed up and moved out of the way when pesticides

  are applied to a field. The bees are generalist pollinators, so they can be used to pollinate many different crops. And although they are not the most efficient pollinator of every crop, honeybees have

  strength in numbers, with 20,000 to 100,000 bees living in a single hive. “Without a doubt, if there

  was one bee you wanted for agriculture, it would be the honeybee,” says Jim Cane, of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The honeybee, in other words, has become a crucial cog in the modern system

  of industrial agriculture. That system delivers more food, and more kinds of it, to more places, more

  cheaply than ever before. But that system is also vulnerable, because making a farm field into the photosynthetic equivalent of a factory floor, and pollination into a series of continent-long assembly lines,

  also leaches out some of the resilience characteristic of natural ecosystems.

  Breno Freitas, an agronomist in Brazil, pointed out that in nature such a high degree of specialisation usually is a very dangerous game: it works well while all the rest is in equilibrium, but runs quickly to extinction at the least disbalance. In effect, by developing an agricultural system that is

  heavily reliant on a single pollinator species, we humans have become riskily overspecialised. And

  when the human-honeybee relationship is disrupted, as it has been by colony collapse disorder, the

  vulnerability of that agricultural system begins to become clear.

  In fact, a few wild bees are already being successfully managed for crop pollination. “The problem

  is trying to provide native bees in adequate numbers on a reliable basis in a fairly short number of

  years in order to service the crop,” Jim Cane says. “You’re talking millions of flowers per acre in

  a two-to three-week time frame, or less, for a lot of crops.” On the other hand, native bees can be

  much more efficient pollinators of certain crops than honeybees, so you don’t need as many to do

  the job. For example, about 750 blue orchard bees (Osmia lignaria) can pollinate a hectare of apples

  or almonds, a task that would require roughly 50,000 to 150,000 honeybees. There are bee tinkerers engaged in similar work in many corners of the world. In Brazil, Breno Freitas has found that

  Centris tarsata, the native pollinator of wild cashew, can survive in commercial cashew orchards if

  growers provide a source of floral oils, such as by interplanting their cashew trees with Caribbean

  cherry.

  In certain places, native bees may already be doing more than they’re getting credit for. Ecologist Rachael Winfree recently led a team that looked at pollination of four summer crops (tomato,

  watermelon, peppers, and muskmelon) at 29 farms in the region of New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

  Winfree’s team identified 54 species of wild bees that visited these crops, and found that wild bees

  were the most important pollinators in the system: even though managed honeybees were present

  on many of the farms, wild bees were responsible for 62 percent of flower visits in the study. In

  another study focusing specifically on watermelon, Winfree and her colleagues calculated that

  native bees alone could provide sufficient pollination at 90 percent of the 23 farms studied. By contrast, honeybees alone could provide sufficient pollination at only 78 percent of farms.

  “The region I work in is not typical of the way most food is produced,” Winfree admits. In the

  Delaware Valley, most farms and farm fields are relatively small, each farmer typically grows a

  variety of crops, and farms are interspersed with suburbs and other types of land use which means

  there are opportunities for homeowners to get involved in bee conservation, too. The landscape is

  a bee-friendly patchwork that provides a variety of nesting habitat and floral resources distributed

  among different kinds of crops, weedy field margins, fallow fields, suburban neighborhoods, and

  semi natural habitat like old woodlots, all at a relatively small scale. In other words, “pollinatorfriendly” farming practices would not only aid pollination of agricultural crops, but also serve as

  a key element in the over all conservation strategy for wild pollinators, and often aid other wild

  species as well.

  Of course, not all farmers will be able to implement all of these practices. And researchers are suggesting a shift to a kind of polyglot agricultural system. For some small-scale farms, native bees

  may indeed be all that’s needed. For larger operations, a suite of managed bees — with honeybees

  filling the generalist role and other, native bees pollinating specific crops — could be augmented

  by free pollination services from resurgent wild pollinators. In other words, they’re saying, we still

  have an opportunity to replace a risky monoculture with something diverse, resilient, and robust.

  Questions 27-30

  Do the following statements agree with the claims of the writer in Reading

  Passage 3?

  In boxes 27-30 on your answer sheet, write

  YES if the statement agrees with the claims of the writer

  NO if the statement contradicts the claims of the writer

  NOT GIVEN if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this

  27 In the United States, farmers use honeybees in a large scale over the past few

  years.

  28 Clean farming practices would be harmful to farmers’ health.

  29 The blue orchard bee is the most efficient pollinator for every crop.

  30 It is beneficial to other local creatures to protect native bees.

  Questions 31-35

  Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D.

  Write your answers in boxes 31-35 on your answer sheet.

  31 The example of the ‘Fruitless Fall’ underlines the writer’s point about

  A needs for using pesticides.

  B impacts of losing insect pollinators.

  C vulnerabilities of native bees.

  D benefits in building more pollination industries.

  32 Why can honeybees adapt to the modern agricultural system?

  A The honeybees can pollinated more crops efficiently.

  B The bees are semi-domesticated since ancient times.

  C Honeybee hives can be protected from pesticides.

  D The ability of wild pollinators using to serve crops declines.

  33 The writer mentions factories and assembly lines to illustrate

  A one drawback of the industrialised agricultural system.

  B a low cost in modern agriculture.

  C the role of honeybees in pollination.

  D what a high yield of industrial agriculture.

  34 In the 6th paragraph, Winfree’s experiment proves that

  A honeybees can pollinate various crops.

  B there are many types of wild bees as the pollinators.

  C wild bees can increase the yield to a higher percentage.

  D wild bees work more efficiently as a pollinator than honeybees in certain cases.

  35 What does the writer want to suggest in the last paragraph?

  A the importance of honeybees in pollination

  B the adoption of different bees in various sizes of agricultural system

  C the comparison between the intensive and the rarefied agricultural system

  D the reason why farmers can rely on native pollinators

  Questions 36-40

  Complete each sentence with the correct ending, A-F, below.

  Write the correct letter, A-F, in boxes 36-40 on your answer sheet.

  36 Headlines of colony collapse disorder state that

  37 Viewpoints of Freitas manifest that

  38 Examples of blue orchard bees have shown that

  39 Centris tarsata is mentioned to exemplify that

  40 One finding of the research in Delaware Valley is that

  A native pollinators can survive when a specific plant is supplied.

  B it would cause severe consequences to both commerce and agriculture.

  C honeybees can not be bred.

  D some agricultural landscapes are favourable in supporting wild bees.

  E a large scale of honeybees are needed to pollinate.

  F an agricultural system is fragile when relying on a single pollinator.

  词汇详解

  ailment n. 小病 ; 不安(近义词 :tension, unrest。 ill 和 sick 都有“ 生病的,有病的” 之意,

  但用法并不完全相同。 ill 表示“ 生病的,有病的” 这一意思时,一般用作表语,不能作定语 ;

  而 sick 既可以作表语又可以作定语。 例如,“ 病人” 可以说“ a sick man” 或“ the sick”,

  但不能说“ an ill man” 或“ the ill”。)

  sterile adj. 不育的 ; 无菌的 ; 贫瘠的 ; 不毛的 ; 枯燥乏味的(在本文中,“ fields will be

  sterile” 强调的是“ 土地的贫瘠”。)

  collapse v. 倒塌 ; 瓦解 ; 暴跌 n. 倒塌 ; 失败 ; 衰竭(近义词 : fall in, defeat, reverse。 在

  本文中,“ economies will collapse” 指“ 经济将会陷入崩溃”。)

  scarce adj. 缺乏的,不足的 ; 稀有的 adv. 仅仅 ; 几乎不 ; 几乎没有 (阅读中常见的表示 “ 缺

  乏” 的短语 : lack of。 近义词 : rare, short, insufficient, deficient。 词组“ make oneself

  scarce” 意为“ 溜走”。)

  organophosphate n. 有机磷酸酯(肥料)adj. 有机磷酸酯的

  scrub n. 矮树 ; 擦洗 ; 擦洗者 ; 矮小的人(或物) v. 用力擦洗 ; 使净化 ; 进行消毒(在本

  文中强调“ 清理, 清除” 之意。)

  roadside n. 路边 ; 路旁(这是一个合成名词,“ road” 表示“ 路”,“ side” 表示“ 边”, 合在一起就是“ 路边”。 这样的合成词还有 airport,“ air” 表示“ 天空”,“ port” 指“ 口岸”,

  合在一起就是“ 机场” 了。 近义词 : curb, wayside。)

  inhospitable adj. 荒凉的 ; 冷淡的, 不好客的 ; 不适居留的(该词由否定前缀 in- 与词

  根 hospitable“ 适宜的” 组合在一起, 意为“ 荒凉的”。 由否定前缀 in- 组合而成的单词

  有 : incorrect 不正确的 ; inability 无能, 无力。 un- 也是表示否定的前缀。 近义词 : cold,

  wild, desert。 在本文中表示“ 不适合居住” 的意思。)

  pollinator n. 传粉者, 传粉媒介, 传粉昆虫 ; 授花粉器

  familiarity n. 熟悉, 精通 ; 亲密而不拘礼仪(词根为 : familiar。 衍生词汇有 : familiarly

  亲密地 ; familiarisation 亲密, 精通, 熟悉 ; familiarise 使熟悉。 近义表达有 : up on,

  acquainted with。)

  generalist n. 通才 ; 多面手(近义词 : versatile person, all-rounder。)

  resilience n. 恢复力 ; 弹力 ; 适应力(近义词 : elasticity, elastic force。)

  disrupt v. 扰乱, 破坏 ; 瓦解 ; 中断 ; 使陷于混乱(近义词 : destroy, tear, undermine,

  founder。)

  adequate adj. 充足的 ; 适当的 ; 胜任的(常见短语 : adequate for 对……足够的 ; adequate consideration 充分考虑 ; adequate preparation 充分准备。)

  efficient adj. 有效率的 ; 有能力的 ; 生效的(名词形式 : efficiency, 意为“ 效率, 效能”。

  efficiency 的近义词 : virtue, potency。 词组短语 : high efficiency 高效率 ; production efficiency 生产效率 ; work efficiency 工作效率。)

  commercial adj. 商业的 ; 营利的 ; 靠广告收入的 n. 商业广告(近义词 : merchant。 相关

  短语 : commercial bank 商业银行 ; Industrial and Commercial Bank 工商银行 ; commercial

  value 市场价值。)

  suburb n. 郊区 ; 城郊住宅区 ; 边缘(近义词 : margin, banlieue。)

  patchwork n. 拼缝物, 拼缀物 ; 混杂物(常见短语 : fur patchwork 皮毛画, 外相画 ;

  tight patchwork 严密的拼缝 ; patchwork effect 拼接效果。 作“ 混杂物” 讲时, 近义词有 :

  farrago, macedoine。)

  题目详解

  Questions 27-30

  解 答

  27. 利用细节信息“ United States” 和顺序原则定位于原文第 2 段第 4 句“ The total

  number of hives involved in the U.S. pollination industry has been somewhere between

  2.5 million and 3 million in recent years.” 原文指出在美国授粉产业使用的蜂巢总量在

  250 万至 300 万之间, 数量庞大, 而题目信息“ in a large scale” 可与原文信息“ 2.5million and 3 million” 相对应。 题目与原文内容相一致, 所以答案为 YES。

  28. 利用细节信息“ clean farming practices” 和顺序原则定位于原文第 2 段第 5 句“ ‘ clean

  farming’ practices that scrubbed native vegetation from field margins and roadsides. These

  practices killed many native bees outright”。 这里作者只提到了“ 清洁农业” 对本地植

  物和本地蜜蜂有影响, 而题目“ Clean farming practices would be harmful to farmers’

  health” 是指“ 清洁农业” 对农民的健康有危害, 原文并没有提及相关的信息。 因此

  无法在原文的基础上进行判断, 所以答案为 NOT GIVEN。

  29. 利用细节信息“ blue orchard bee” 定位于原文第 5 段。 首先, 该段第 4 句“ On the

  other hand, native bees can be much more efficient pollinators of certain crops than honeybees” 特别强调了本地蜜蜂的高效率只针对某些农作物“ certain crops”,而不是针对所

  有农作物“ every crop”, 所以同属本地蜜蜂的“ blue orchard bee” 的高效率也只体现

  在特定农作物上, 而非所有的农作物。 其次, 本段第 5 句也只是提到“ about 750 blue

  orchard bees...can pollinate a hectare of apples or almonds”, 即“ blue orchard bee” 在苹

  果树和杏树授粉方面的高效率。 题目信息与原文信息相矛盾, 所以答案为 NO。

  30. 利用顺序原则和细节信息“ protect” 定位于原文第 7 段末句“ In other words, ‘pollinator-friendly’ farming practices would not only aid pollination of agricultural crops, but also

  serve as a key element in the over all conservation strategy for wild pollinators, and often

  aid other wild species as well.” 作者指出“ 传粉者友好型” 的农业实践不仅能保护本

  地授粉者,还能帮助到其他的野生物种。 题目中的“ protect native bees” 和“ beneficial

  to other local creatures” 分别对应原文中的“ conservation strategy for wild pollinators”

  和“ aid other wild species”。 题目信息与原文信息表达一致, 所以答案为 YES。

  Questions 31-35

  解 答

  31. 利用细节信息“ Fruitless Fall” 定位于原文第 2 段末句“ Concern about these practices

  and their effects on pollinators isn’t new…Rachel Carson warned of a‘ Fruitless Fall’ that

  could result from the disappearance of insect pollinators.” 原文大意是说传粉者的消失可

  能导致颗粒无收的现象, 这个信息对应选项 B“ impacts of losing insect pollinators”。

  因此, 正确答案为 B。

  32. 利用细节信息 “ modern agricultural system”和顺序性原则定位于原文第 3 段第 2 句 “ the

  bees’ biology is in many ways suited to the kind of agricultural system that was emerging”,

  题目中的 “ modern” 和原文中的 “ emerging” 是同义表达。 下一句话接着讲述 “ honeybee

  hives can be closed up and moved out of the way when pesticides are applied to a field”,

  也就是说人工养殖蜜蜂的蜂巢可以在喷洒农药时关闭并转移到其他地方。 这个信息对应选项 C“ Honeybee hives can be protected from pesticides”。 因此, 正确答案为 C。

  33. 利用细节信息“ factories” 和“ assembly lines” 及顺序性原则定位于原文第 3 段末

  句“ But that system is also vulnerable, because making a farm field into the photosynthetic

  equivalent of a factory floor, and pollination into a series of continent-long assembly lines,

  also leaches out some of the resilience characteristic of natural ecosystems.” 这里作者强

  调了由于把农田变成了进行光合作��的工厂车间, 把蜜蜂授粉变成了一条装配生产

  线, 并且削弱了自然生态系统的恢复能力, 所以现代工业化农业体系非常脆弱, 这

  是该农业体系的缺点。 这个信息对应选项 A“ one drawback of the industrialised agricultural system”。 因此, 正确答案为 A。

  34. 利用细节信息“ 6th paragraph” 定位到原文第 6 段。 题目中的“ Winfree’s experiment proves” 对 应 该 段 倒 数 第 1、 2 句“ In another study focusing specifically on

  watermelon...native bees alone could provide sufficient pollination at 90 percent of the 23

  farms studied. By contrast, honeybees alone could provide sufficient pollination at only 78

  percent of farms.” 这两句话的大意是在 Winfree 对西瓜的研究中, 本地蜜蜂完成了

  90[%] 的农场的充分授粉, 而人工养殖蜜蜂只完成了 78[%]。 这个信息对应选项 D“ wild

  bees work more efficiently as a pollinator than honeybees in certain cases”。 因此, 正确

  答案为 D。

  35. 根据题目信息“ suggest in the last paragraph” 定位到原文末段。 本题属于归纳总结的

  题型,需要阅读整段,然后再利用排除法对选项一一进行判断。选项 A中的 “ honeybees”

  虽然在原文末段有提到, 但是该段第 3、 4 句“ For some small-scale farms, native bees

  may indeed be all that’s needed. For larger operations, a suite of managed bees — with honeybees filling the generalist role and other, native bees pollinating specific crops” 说的是

  在小农场, 使用本地蜜蜂就足够了, 而如果在大农场, 人工养殖的蜜蜂可适用于大

  部分农作物的授粉, 本地的蜜蜂则为一些特定的农作物授粉。 而选项 A“ the importance of honeybees in pollination” 只强调了人工养殖蜜蜂的重要性, 属于以偏概全,

  所以排除。 选项 B“ the adoption of different bees in various sizes of agricultural system”

  与之前的分析一致, 即应该根据农场的大小灵活选择人工养殖蜜蜂和野生蜜蜂, 可

  以先待选。 选项 C“ the comparison between the intensive and the rarefied agricultural

  system” 在原文末段并未提及, 所以排除。 选项 D“ the reason why farmers can rely on

  native pollinators” 虽然在原文末段倒数第 2 句略有提及, 但是只强调了依赖野生传

  粉者, 信息不全面, 并不符合本段的中心思想, 所以也应该排除。 综上所述, 正确

  答案为 B。

  Questions 36-40

  解 答

  36. 利用细节信息“ colony collapse disorder” 定位于原文第 1 段第 2 句“ Without honeybees, the story goes, fields will be sterile, economies will collapse, and food will be scarce.”

  这里说到蜂群衰竭失调症导致了大量蜜蜂的死亡, 而蜜蜂的消失会使农田变得贫瘠,

  使经济陷入崩溃, 使食物变得匮乏。 原文中的“ fields will be sterile, economies will

  collapse” 对应选项 B 中的“ severe consequences to both commerce and agriculture”,

  所以正确答案为 B。

  37. 利 用 细 节 信 息“ Freitas” 定 位 到 原 文 第 4 段 第 2 句“ In effect, by developing an

  agricultural system that is heavily reliant on a single pollinator species, we humans have

  become riskily overspecialised.” 这里表明, 严重依赖单一授粉者的农业体系会造成过

  度专门化。 此外, 该段末句“ when the human-honeybee relationship is disrupted, as it

  has been by colony collapse disorder, the vulnerability of that agricultural system begins to

  become clear” 提及这种过度专门化的农业体系的脆弱性开始显现。 原文信息对应选

  项 F“ an agricultural system is fragile when relying on a single pollinator”, 所以正确答

  案为 F。

  38. 利用细节信息“ blue orchard bees” 定位于原文第 5 段第 5 句“ For example, about 750

  blue orchard bees...can pollinate a hectare of apples or almonds, a task that would require

  roughly 50,000 to 150,000 honeybees.” 这里指出 750 只“ blue orchard bees” 授粉的工

  作量大约需要 50,000 到 150,000 只“ honeybees” 才能完成。 原文信息对应选项 E“ a

  large scale of honeybees are needed to pollinate”, 所以正确答案为 E。

  39. 利用细节信息“ Centris tarsata” 定位于原文第 5 段末句“ the native pollinator of wild

  cashew, can survive in commercial cashew orchards if growers provide a source of floral

  oils, such as by interplanting their cashew trees with Caribbean cherry”, 这也就是说当提

  供了“ 加勒比樱桃树”, “ Centris tarsata” 这种本地授粉者就能在商业果园里存活下来。

  原文信息对应选项 A“ native pollinators can survive when a specific plant is supplied”,

  所以正确答案为 A。

  40. 利用细节信息“ Delaware Valley” 定位于原文倒数第 2 段。 本题属于归纳总结的题型,

  需要阅读全段, 然后再利用排除法对选项一一进行判断。 由于原文并未提及蜜蜂不

  能繁殖的信息, 所以选项 C“ honeybees can not be bred” 可以直接排除。 原文倒数

  第 2 段第 2、 3 句“ …there are opportunities for homeowners to get involved in bee conservation, too. The landscape is a bee-friendly patchwork that provides a variety of nesting

  habitat and floral resources…” 讲到该地环境非常适合本地蜜蜂生存。 另外, 原文倒

  数第 2 段末句“ In other words,‘ pollinator-friendly’ farming practices would not only aidpollination of agricultural crops, but also serve as a key element in the over all conservation

  strategy for wild pollinators…” 也提到了“ 传粉者友好型” 的农业实践有利于保护野

  生蜜蜂。 原文信息对应选项 D“ some agricultural landscapes are favourable in supporting wild bees”, 所以正确答案为 D。

  参考译文

  Honey Bees in Trouble

  当人工养殖蜜蜂遇到麻烦

  Can native pollinators fill the gap?

  本地传粉者能否填补空缺?

  Recently, ominous headlines have described a mysterious ailment, colony collapse disorder

  (CCD), which is wiping out the honeybees that pollinate many crops. Without honeybees, the

  story goes, fields will be sterile, economies will collapse, and food will be scarce.

  最近, 骇人听闻的新闻头条讲述了一种神秘的疾病——蜂群衰竭失调症(CCD)。 这种病

  正在摧毁为许多农作物授粉的人工养殖蜜蜂。 如果没有人工养殖的蜜蜂, 事态的发展会

  演变为 : 农田变得贫瘠, 经济陷入崩溃, 食物也将短缺。

  But what few accounts acknowledge is that what’s at risk is not itself a natural state of affairs.

  For one thing, in the United States, where CCD was first reported and has had its greatest

  impacts, honeybees are not a native species. Pollination in modern agriculture isn’t alchemy,

  it’s industry. The total number of hives involved in the U.S. pollination industry has been somewhere between 2.5 million and 3 million in recent years. Meanwhile, American farmers began

  using large quantities of organophosphate insecticides, planted large-scale crop monocultures,

  and adopted “clean farming” practices that scrubbed native vegetation from field margins and

  roadsides. These practices killed many native bees outright — they’re as vulnerable to insecticides as any agricultural pest — and made the agricultural landscape inhospitable to those that

  remained. Concern about these practices and their effects on pollinators isn’t new, in her 1962

  ecological alarm cry Silent Spring, Rachel Carson warned of a ‘Fruitless Fall’ that could result

  from the disappearance of insect pollinators.

  但有些报道认为, 这种状态并不是自然天灾所造成的。 一方面, 尽管美国是首先报道蜂

  群衰竭失调症的国家, 而且所受影响最大, 但人工养殖蜜蜂并不属于美国本地物种。 授

  粉在现代农业中是一个正规行业, 而不是“ 神奇的炼金术”。 近几年来, 参与美国授粉业

  的蜂箱总量已经在 250 万到 300 万之间。 与此同时,美国农民开始大量使用有机磷杀虫剂,大规模种植单一农作物, 还采用“ 清洁农业” 的做法, 将田边到路旁的原生态植物都清

  理掉。 这种做法立马残害了许多本地蜜蜂, 它们和农业害虫一样容易受到杀虫剂的伤害。

  这种做法也把农田变得不再适合剩余的本地蜜蜂生存了。 对这种做法及其对传粉者的影

  响的担忧早就存在。 1962 年,蕾切尔 · 卡逊(Rachel Carson)曾在她的生态警示类作品《寂

  静的春天》 中提醒人们 : 昆虫传粉者的消失会导致“ 颗粒无收的秋天”。

  If that ‘Fruitless Fall’ has not — yet — occurred, it may be largely thanks to the honeybee,

  which farmers turned to as the ability of wild pollinators to service crops declined. The honeybee has been semi-domesticated since the time of the ancient Egyptians, but it wasn’t just

  familiarity that determined this choice: the bees’ biology is in many ways suited to the kind

  of agricultural system that was emerging. For example, honeybee hives can be closed up and

  moved out of the way when pesticides are applied to a field. The bees are generalist pollinators, so they can be used to pollinate many different crops. And although they are not the most

  efficient pollinator of every crop, honeybees have strength in numbers, with 20,000 to 100,000

  bees living in a single hive. “Without a doubt, if there was one bee you wanted for agriculture,

  it would be the honeybee,” says Jim Cane, of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The honeybee, in other words, has become a crucial cog in the modern system of industrial agriculture.

  That system delivers more food, and more kinds of it, to more places, more cheaply than ever

  before. But that system is also vulnerable, because making a farm field into the photosynthetic

  equivalent of a factory floor, and pollination into a series of continent-long assembly lines, also

  leaches out some of the resilience characteristic of natural ecosystems.

  如果秋天颗粒无收的情况还没有发生, 那可能在很大程度上要归功于人工养殖的蜜蜂。

  因为当野生传粉者对农作物的服务能力下降时, 农民便开始向人工养殖的蜜蜂求助。 从

  古埃及时起, 蜜蜂就被人们半驯化了。 选择人工养殖的蜜蜂并不仅仅是因为对其熟悉,

  还因为人工养殖的蜜蜂在许多方面对新兴的农业体系具有适应性。例如,当使用杀虫剂时,

  人工养殖蜜蜂的蜂巢可以封闭起来, 并搬离农药喷洒的区域。 人工养殖的蜜蜂属于传粉

  者中的多面手,它们能为许多不同的作物授粉。虽然它们不是所有农作物最有效的授粉者,

  但却具有数量上的优势。一个蜂巢可养活 20,000至 100,000只蜜蜂。美国农业部的吉姆 ·柯

  恩(Jim Cane) 说道 :“ 毫无疑问, 如果你想选择一种对农业有帮助的蜂族, 那就是人工

  养殖的蜜蜂。” 换句话说,人工养殖蜜蜂已经成为现代工业化农业体系中的一个关键环节。

  该农业体系可以为更多的地方提供更大量、 更多种类的食物, 价格也比以往更便宜。 但

  该体系也非常脆弱, 因为这相当于把农田变成了进行光合作用的工厂车间, 而蜜蜂授粉

  则变成了一条装配生产线, 从而削弱了自然生态系统的恢复能力。

  Breno Freitas, an agronomist in Brazil, pointed out that in nature such a high degree of speciali-sation usually is a very dangerous game: it works well while all the rest is in equilibrium, but

  runs quickly to extinction at the least disbalance. In effect, by developing an agricultural system

  that is heavily reliant on a single pollinator species, we humans have become riskily overspecialised. And when the human-honeybee relationship is disrupted, as it has been by colony collapse disorder, the vulnerability of that agricultural system begins to become clear.

  巴西的农学家布雷诺 · 弗雷塔斯(Breno Freitas) 指出, 在自然界中, 采用这样一个高度

  专业化的体系通常是非常危险的 : 当一切都处在平衡状态时, 它能很好地运作 ; 而一旦

  出现细微的失衡, 该体系就会快速消亡。 实际上, 如此严重依赖单一传粉者的农业体系

  已经使人类陷入过度专业化的险境之中。 而当人与蜜蜂的关系遭到破坏时, 例如在蜂群

  衰竭失调症爆发的情形下, 该农业体系的脆弱之处也开始显现。

  In fact, a few wild bees are already being successfully managed for crop pollination. “The

  problem is trying to provide native bees in adequate numbers on a reliable basis in a fairly short

  number of years in order to service the crop,” Jim Cane says. “You’re talking millions of flowers

  per acre in a two-to three-week time frame, or less, for a lot of crops.” On the other hand, native

  bees can be much more efficient pollinators of certain crops than honeybees, so you don’t need

  as many to do the job. For example, about 750 blue orchard bees (Osmia lignaria) can pollinate

  a hectare of apples or almonds, a task that would require roughly 50,000 to 150,000 honeybees.

  There are bee tinkerers engaged in similar work in many corners of the world. In Brazil, Breno

  Freitas has found that Centris tarsata, the native pollinator of wild cashew, can survive in commercial cashew orchards if growers provide a source of floral oils, such as by interplanting their

  cashew trees with Caribbean cherry.

  事实上, 有些野生蜜蜂已经被成功驯化, 可以为农作物授粉。 吉姆 · 柯恩说 :“ 当谈及要

  在两至三周甚至更短的时间内, 为每英亩数以百万计的许多农作物的花授粉时, 难题是

  如何在短短几年内提供足量而且来源稳定的本地蜜蜂作为农作物的授粉工具。”另一方面,

  由于本地蜜蜂可以比人工养殖蜜蜂更有效地为特定的农作物授粉, 因此也就无需那么多

  本地蜂蜜来参与授粉。 例如, 只需大约 750 只蓝色果园壁蜂(Osmia lignaria) 就可以为

  一公顷的苹果树或杏树授粉, 而同样的任务则大概需要 5 万到 15 万只人工养殖的蜜蜂才

  能完成。 蜜蜂这种“ 能工巧匠” 在世界各个角落从事着类似的工作。 在巴西, 布雷诺 •

  弗雷塔斯还发现, 如果种植者能提供一种花油的来源, 例如在腰果树之间种植加勒比樱

  桃树, 那么野生腰果的本地传粉者膜翅目蜜蜂(Centris tarsata) 就可以在商业腰果园里

  存活。

  In certain places, native bees may already be doing more than they’re getting credit for. Ecologist Rachael Winfree recently led a team that looked at pollination of four summer crops (tomato,watermelon, peppers, and muskmelon) at 29 farms in the region of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Winfree’s team identified 54 species of wild bees that visited these crops, and found that

  wild bees were the most important pollinators in the system: even though managed honeybees

  were present on many of the farms, wild bees were responsible for 62 percent of flower visits in

  the study. In another study focusing specifically on watermelon, Winfree and her colleagues calculated that native bees alone could provide sufficient pollination at 90 percent of the 23 farms

  studied. By contrast, honeybees alone could provide sufficient pollination at only 78 percent of

  farms.

  在某些地方, 本地蜜蜂的贡献也许已经超过了它们所获得的好评。 生态学家瑞秋 • 温弗

  瑞(Rachael Winfree) 最近带领了一个团队在新泽西州和宾夕法尼亚州的 29 个农场里观

  察四种夏季农作物(番茄、 西瓜、 辣椒和甜瓜) 的授粉情况。 温弗瑞的团队确定了 54 种

  前来为这些农作物授粉的野生蜜蜂, 并发现它们是该农业体系中最重要的传粉者 : 尽管

  许多农场都有人工养殖的蜜蜂, 但野蜂的授粉量占总授粉量的 62[%]。 在另一项以西瓜为

  重点的研究中, 温弗瑞和她的同事对 23 个农场进行了监测, 统计出单靠本地蜜蜂就可以

  提供充足授粉量的农场占总数的 90[%]。 相比之下, 单靠人工养殖蜜蜂就可以提供充足授

  粉量的农场只占总数的 78[%]。

  “The region I work in is not typical of the way most food is produced,” Winfree admits. In the

  Delaware Valley, most farms and farm fields are relatively small, each farmer typically grows

  a variety of crops, and farms are interspersed with suburbs and other types of land use which

  means there are opportunities for homeowners to get involved in bee conservation, too. The

  landscape is a bee-friendly patchwork that provides a variety of nesting habitat and floral

  resources distributed among different kinds of crops, weedy field margins, fallow fields, suburban neighborhoods, and semi natural habitat like old woodlots, all at a relatively small scale. In

  other words, “pollinator-friendly” farming practices would not only aid pollination of agricultural crops, but also serve as a key element in the over all conservation strategy for wild pollinators, and often aid other wild species as well.

  “ 在我研究的地区, 他们的农耕方式并不像大部分食物的种植方式那样典型,” 温弗瑞承

  认道。 在德拉瓦河谷, 大多数农场和农田相对较小, 每个农户通常会种植多种农作物,

  而且农场都分散在城郊住宅区和其他类型的用地之间, 这意味着房主也有机会参与蜜蜂

  的保护。 这里的环境非常适合蜜蜂的生长, 各种较小规模、 形形色色的蜜蜂栖息地与花

  卉资源就分布在不同种类的农作物、 杂草丛生的田边、 休耕地、 郊区周边和半自然的古

  老植林地之中。 换句话说, 这种“ 传粉者友好型” 的农业活动不仅有助于农作物授粉,

  而且也是保护野生传粉者总战略中的关键因素, 同时还有利于其他野生物种。

  Of course, not all farmers will be able to implement all of these practices. And researchers are

  suggesting a shift to a kind of polyglot agricultural system. For some small-scale farms, native

  bees may indeed be all that’s needed. For larger operations, a suite of managed bees — with

  honeybees filling the generalist role and other, native bees pollinating specific crops — could be

  augmented by free pollination services from resurgent wild pollinators. In other words, they’re

  saying, we still have an opportunity to replace a risky monoculture with something diverse,

  resilient, and robust.

  当然, 并不是所有农民都能如此开展农业活动。 研究人员建议采用一种多元化的农业体

  系。 对于一些小规模的农场, 本地蜜蜂的确能够满足需求。 而大规模的农场可以采用一

  套蜜蜂之间相互搭配的模式, 即人工养殖蜜蜂充当授粉多面手(普适性授粉), 其他本地

  蜜蜂则为特定农作物授粉, 这种模式能够通过重获生机的野生蜜蜂的自由授粉活动增强

  整体产能。 换句话说, 研究人员认为, 我们仍然有机会实现多样、 灵活、 健康的农业体系,

  进而取代危险的单一农业体系。


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