Crop plants which depend on pollination especially by bees, contain large amounts of micronutrients needed for human nutrition.
Alarming scientific projections show the extent to which the problem of micronutrient deficiency could become worse due to the mass mortality of bees that can be observed all over the world. Studies reveal that pollination in rural areas such as parts of South-East Asia, Latin America and central Africa is of critical importance for the production of micronutrients.
Thus for example up to 50% of biologically produced vitamin A can be put down to the activity of bees. Iron and folic acid are less dependent on pollination: the mortality of bees would reduce their production by twelve up to 15%.
The basis for such extrapolations are formed by analyses of dietary habits carried out also in Zambia.
A.M. Ellis, SS Myers and TH Ricketts (2015) Do Pollinators Contribute to Nutritional Health? PLoS ONE 10(1): e114805. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0114805
Chaplin-Kramer et al. (2014): Global Malnutrition Overlaps with Pollinator-Dependent Micronutrient Production. Proc. R. Soc. B 2014 281 20141799; DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2014.1799. Published 17 September 2014