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Climate Change May Be Causing An Apple Crisis In Himachal And Kashmir This Year; Here's How

A decline in native and foreign bees due to change in weather and the use of pesticides means that apple production in both areas may take a hit. Climate change is causing bees, among nature's primary pollinators, to die in Himachal Pradesh and the Kashmir Valley.

"This year, when it rained in mid-April, bees in our garden died in their boxes," Marshall Thakur, an apple grower from Himachal Pradesh's Kullu district, told DTE. "They didn't get a chance to come out. When they did not come out, our apple crop could not be pollinated. Due to this, there is going to be a loss of 30 to 35 per cent in apple production," Thakur added.

"It was time for the apple crop to flower. But from April 15, there was very heavy rainfall. Consequently, the cold increased. I had bee boxes in my gardens. But the bees died. Apple flowers could not be pollinated properly. Therefore, the loss of apples is bound to happen," Bhimta added.

Mohammad Amin Bhat, technical officer of the Directorate of Horticulture, Kashmir, told DTE that almost 100 per cent of apple growers in Kashmir use bees for pollination. Climate change is causing the deaths of bees across Himachal, though the state's economy depends on the insect pollinators. These are the Apis mellifera or the Italian bee and the Apis cerana indica or the Indian bee.

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