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In the past 50 years, the population of honeybees in the

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In the past 50 years, the population of honeybees in the [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 14 Nov 2012, 09:19
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In the past 50 years, the population of honeybees in the United States has been cut in half. The decline is due primarily to the increasing use of pesticides in the United States, as well as to the introduction of two types of mites that weaken and kill the bees. Honeybees are the primary pollinators for a variety of important fruit crops, including oranges, apples, grapes, peaches, cranberries and watermelons. Therefore, if the honey bee population continues this drastic decline, then most fruits will no longer be available to consumers.

In evaluating the conclusion, which of the following questions would be LEAST useful to answer?

A Are there other insect pollinators that could pollinate these fruit crops instead of the honeybee?
B Are honeybee populations declining in other important fruit-producing regions, like Chile and New Zealand?
C Is it feasible for humans to hand-pollinate the fruits that have been pollinated by bees?
D Will reducing the use of pesticides in the United States reverse the decline in honeybee populations?
E Is it possible to genetically engineer fruit-producing plants so that they no longer require pollination?

Originally posted by nelz007 on 14 Nov 2012, 06:31.
Last edited by nelz007 on 14 Nov 2012, 09:19, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: In the past 50 years, the population of honeybees in the [#permalink]

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New post 14 Nov 2012, 20:28
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nelz007 wrote:
In the past 50 years, the population of honeybees in the United States has been cut in half. The decline is due primarily to the increasing use of pesticides in the United States, as well as to the introduction of two types of mites that weaken and kill the bees. Honeybees are the primary pollinators for a variety of important fruit crops, including oranges, apples, grapes, peaches, cranberries and watermelons. Therefore, if the honey bee population continues this drastic decline, then most fruits will no longer be available to consumers.

In evaluating the conclusion, which of the following questions would be LEAST useful to answer?

A Are there other insect pollinators that could pollinate these fruit crops instead of the honeybee?
B Are honeybee populations declining in other important fruit-producing regions, like Chile and New Zealand?
C Is it feasible for humans to hand-pollinate the fruits that have been pollinated by bees?
D Will reducing the use of pesticides in the United States reverse the decline in honeybee populations?
E Is it possible to genetically engineer fruit-producing plants so that they no longer require pollination?


Responding to 3 pms on this question!

I couldn't recall the honeybee question offhand but was convinced that it must be tricky if people are this unsettled because of it. But mind you, in my opinion, the question is straightforward. All you need to do is focus on what the question is asking you. Do not let emotions interfere!

In all our strengthen/weaken questions we tell you to look at the conclusion. Try to strengthen/weaken that. Here the question clearly asks you to figure out what will not help in evaluating the CONCLUSION.

What is the conclusion?

"If the honey bee population continues this drastic decline, then most fruits will no longer be available to consumers."

The conclusion is that if the honey bee population continues to decline, then consumers will not get fruit. What you have to evaluate is this "If the honeybee population continues to decline, will the consumers get fruit?". Basically, we are wondering whether there are alternative ways of pollination or getting fruit.

A Are there other insect pollinators that could pollinate these fruit crops instead of the honeybee?
Alternative method of pollination

B Are honeybee populations declining in other important fruit-producing regions, like Chile and New Zealand?
Alternative method of obtaining fruit

C Is it feasible for humans to hand-pollinate the fruits that have been pollinated by bees?
Alternative method of pollination

D Will reducing the use of pesticides in the United States reverse the decline in honeybee populations?
Doesn't help in evaluating the conclusion. The conclusion clearly says that if the decline continues, fruits will not be available. We don't have to question whether there are ways to reverse the decline. The point is - if the decline happens, can we do something.

E Is it possible to genetically engineer fruit-producing plants so that they no longer require pollination?
Alternative method of obtaining fruit

Answer (D)
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In the past 50 years, the population of honeybees in the [#permalink]

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New post 14 Nov 2012, 09:13
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VERITAS PREP OFFICIAL SOLUTION:



This is a type of weaken question that asks the test-taker to provide the question that would, when answered, either strengthen or weaken the conclusion. In this exception question, the correct answer will be the question that is not useful in evaluating the conclusion. Choice D is the correct answer because it is the one that is not directly focused on the conclusion, which is the prediction that most fruits will be unavailable in the absence of the honeybees. Choice D poses a very important question about a possible way to reverse the decline in the honeybee population, but the answer to this question would neither strengthen nor weaken the conclusion. Choices A and C ask about potential alternative ways to pollinate the fruit, while Choice E presents the possibility that pollination could be bypassed through genetic engineering. Choice B asks about other fruit-producing regions that might be used as alternative sources of fruit for consumers.
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Re: In the past 50 years, the population of honeybees in the [#permalink]

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New post 14 Nov 2012, 09:39
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Vips0000 wrote:

True, option A looks for potential alternatives for pollination. But it looks for "insect pollination". But even if we find insect X, Y or Z - we still need to evaluate and find out if those insects would not be affected because of pesticides. This definitely can not help in evaluating the argument.
As far as D is concerned - it is not talking about stopping the trend - but it talks about reversal of trend. What it means is if we reduce pesticide bee population will increase -> which shows pollination would happen again -> consumer can get fruits. So it weakens argument when answered in affirmative.

The OE is definitely not correct.


I guess D is correct answer because the conclusion states "Therefore, if the honey bee population continues this drastic decline, then most fruits will no longer be available to consumers."
That is -> the conclusion is contingent on the basis only when "honey bee population continues this drastic decline". Per D, if we can reverse or not reverse the trend is irrelevant to issue of getting fruits (given the bees continue to decline)
In other words, we have evaluate all the answer choice considering what will happen if the trend continues.

Makes sense?

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Re: In the past 50 years, the population of honeybees in the [#permalink]

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New post 14 Nov 2012, 10:49
Jp27 wrote:
If I'm in Pasir Ris New Town then I'm in Singapore.
If im NOT in Singapore then I'm Definitely NOT in Pasir Ris New Town

Mumbai is in india.
If i'm not in india -> then i'm not in mumbai.


I don't see any difference between two. but you claim otherwise. :oops:

Cheers


Difference is in these statements: -

If statement is:
Mumbai is in india.

Logical deduction->
If i'm in mubai ->then i'm in india

Correct Negation
If i'm not in india -> then i'm not in mumbai.
Incorrect Negation
If i'm not in mumbai-> then i'm not in india

Having explained that - I think both of us are not going to be convinced. I rest my case :-D
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Re: In the past 50 years, the population of honeybees in the [#permalink]

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New post 14 Nov 2012, 11:16
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Vips0000 wrote:
nelz007 wrote:
In the past 50 years, the population of honeybees in the United States has been cut in half. The decline is due primarily to the increasing use of pesticides in the United States, as well as to the introduction of two types of mites that weaken and kill the bees. Honeybees are the primary pollinators for a variety of important fruit crops, including oranges, apples, grapes, peaches, cranberries and watermelons. Therefore, if the honey bee population continues this drastic decline, then most fruits will no longer be available to consumers.

In evaluating the conclusion, which of the following questions would be LEAST useful to answer?

A Are there other insect pollinators that could pollinate these fruit crops instead of the honeybee?
B Are honeybee populations declining in other important fruit-producing regions, like Chile and New Zealand?
C Is it feasible for humans to hand-pollinate the fruits that have been pollinated by bees?
D Will reducing the use of pesticides in the United States reverse the decline in honeybee populations?
E Is it possible to genetically engineer fruit-producing plants so that they no longer require pollination?


Conclusion is: if the honey bee population continues this drastic decline, then most fruits will no longer be available to consumers.
Lets see each choice one by one.

A Are there other insect pollinators that could pollinate these fruit crops instead of the honeybee?
Even if the ans to this question is yes, chances are pesticides would eliminate those insects as well. note, we are evaluating this conclusion in the light of decline in bee population due to pesticides.
Therefore yes or no in this question does not matter in evaluating the argument.


B Are honeybee populations declining in other important fruit-producing regions, like Chile and New Zealand?
conclusion is that most fruits will no longer be available to customer. If the ans to this question is no that means there will be pollination and there will be fruits. if ans to this question is yes then we know that conclusion holds good. So this question helps.

C Is it feasible for humans to hand-pollinate the fruits that have been pollinated by bees?
Yes/no to this question provides alternate method of pollination. if yes ->pollination -> fruits. if no -> no pollination -> no fruit. So this question helps.

D Will reducing the use of pesticides in the United States reverse the decline in honeybee populations?
yes would mean if population continues to decline we can reverse the trend.-> continue pollination->fruits!
no would mean we can not reverse the trend -> no pollination->no fruits.


E Is it possible to genetically engineer fruit-producing plants so that they no longer require pollination?[/
in this choice we are just eliminating middle man pollination of our other answer choices.. yes->fruits, no->no fruits.

Hence ans A it is.


No the answer here is D.

You are concerned ONLY of pollination or something related directly to it

The least is something that talks about others stuff.

For the argument at end: pesticide is the LEAST for evaluating the argument because is not the main point

Quote:
In evaluating the conclusion, which of the following questions would be LEAST useful to answer?

A Are there other insect pollinators that could pollinate these fruit crops instead of the honeybee?
B Are honeybee populations declining in other important fruit-producing regions (the pollination is implied), like Chile and New Zealand?
C Is it feasible for humans to hand-pollinate the fruits that have been pollinated by bees?
D Will reducing the use of pesticides in the United States reverse the decline in honeybee populations?
E Is it possible to genetically engineer fruit-producing plants so that they no longer require pollination?


;)
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Re: In the past 50 years, the population of honeybees in the [#permalink]

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New post 15 Nov 2012, 01:28
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Vips0000 wrote:
How does A give you an alternative for polliation? if bee population is declining due to pesticide, can we turn a blind eye to the fact that pesticides would eliminate insects too? And assume that we got one way of pollination?


We do not know whether the insects get affected. It's an 'evaluate' question. You first evaluate whether someone else can pollinate. Once you find someone, then you will evaluate the status of those insects and what affects them etc. You are jumping the gun by saying that the same pesticides will affect every species of insects and hence no other possible pollinator can survive.

Vips0000 wrote:
Also the statement:
D Will reducing the use of pesticides in the United States reverse the decline in honeybee populations?
Doesn't help in evaluating the conclusion. The conclusion clearly says that if the decline continues, fruits will not be available. We don't have to question whether there are ways to reverse the decline. The point is - if the decline happens, can we do something.


"The conclusion clearly says that if the decline continues, fruits will not be available". yes it does. And that is what we have to evaluate.

We dont have to question if there are ways to reverse the decline. But 'consider'- if there is a method that can 'reverse' (note:reverse, Not STOP) the decline, would it impact the conclusion?


Here you haven't understood the conclusion. Say, I give you my opinion "If people keep fighting, the world will end." You need to evaluate my opinion. What will you evaluate? Will you evaluate whether people will keep fighting or will you evaluate what happens when people keep fighting. In my opinion, if people keep fighting, the world will end. You need to find out what happens 'if people keep fighting'. My opinion is based on a condition. If this happens, that will happen. When you evaluate my opinion, you are going to evaluate whether 'that will happen or not if this happens'. You don't have to question whether people will keep fighting or not.
Similarly, the conclusion states 'if honeybee population continues to decline...'
Don't worry about whether actually honeybee population will decline, stay same or increase. Find out what happens if it continues to decline.
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Re: In the past 50 years, the population of honeybees in the [#permalink]

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New post 07 Nov 2013, 22:38
gmacforjyoab wrote:
Hi Karishma,

I agree with what you have said above. But the reason I felt A was just as strong as D ,was , since the argument already states that honeybees are the PRIMARY POLLINATORS for these fruits. So we already know that there are other pollinators that could pollinate these fruits. So when you think on these lines, A doesn't really help much , since we already know the answer to this from the argument itself. Although I do agree that D doesn't help in evaluating the argument either . So I cant figure out a way to justifiably pick one over the other.

-Jyothi


The argument only says that the honeybees are primary pollinators for these fruits. It doesn't mean there are other insect pollinators that could be used to pollinate. If honeybees are not there, the primary pollinator will be gone and little pollination may take place through other mediums such as wind/some other insects - we don't know. What (A) is trying to evaluate is whether there are other insect pollinators which could pollinate these crops (the use of 'could' tells you that they probably don't pollinate these crops right now). We are looking for an alternative primary pollinator.
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Re: In the past 50 years, the population of honeybees in the [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jun 2014, 19:10
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gauravkaushik8591 wrote: and i just couldn't understand how would pollinating a fruit that has been pollinated by bees help? as in, isn't it already pollinated?


you are not parsing the option C correctly

C is trying to look out for a possibility where in the plants that are presently being pollinated by honeybees CAN be pollinated by humans ?
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Re: In the past 50 years, the population of honeybees in the [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jun 2014, 20:09
gauravkaushik8591 wrote:
Lucky i got this answer right. But i have a very fundamental question. I was stuck between C and D. Reason being that C states 'Is it feasible for humans to hand-pollinate the fruits that have been pollinated by bees' and i just couldn't understand how would pollinating a fruit that has been pollinated by bees help? as in, isn't it already pollinated?

Sorry for such a basic question but i was very close to picking C over D for this reason.


I understand your confusion. The intent of the option is that can humans pollinate the fruit which, till now, has been pollinated by bees?
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Re: In the past 50 years, the population of honeybees in the [#permalink]

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New post 14 Jun 2015, 22:06
vikasbansal227 wrote:
Hello,

Well answer (D) is very well explained by Veritas Prep and indeed it is very important concept for GMAT.

But what about (B). It is mentioned in explanation that (B) is helpful in evaluating the conclusion because it could be "Alternate method to get fruits" but how:

- First there is no evidence in the argument to suggest that there are vegetables/fruits import in US from NZ and CH.
- Secondly argument clearly mention about ONLY US

(B) could be considered if the argument specified "Decreased availability for consumers around the world"

Any experts thoughts on this please?

Thanks
Vikas


Note that the question asks you this: "In evaluating the conclusion, which of the following questions would be LEAST useful?"

None of the other four options will actually give you an alternative method of fruit or pollination. They will only HELP you in evaluating an alternative.

(B) asks "Are honeybee populations declining in other important fruit-producing regions?" If you answer "No", then another question could be "Can fruits be imported from these regions?" and so on... (B) is a step towards evaluating an alternative means of obtaining fruit. It is a useful question.

The other options are also steps towards evaluating alternative means of obtaining fruit or alternative means of pollination.

(D) provides no help in evaluating the conclusion and hence is "LEAST" useful (another way of saying "Not useful" because you cannot judge the relative utility of options).
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New post 20 Aug 2015, 20:24
Divyadisha wrote:
Hi! All,

Certainly a confusing question.

Well, the conclusion says that consumers will not be able to get the fruits. Now to evaluate the conclusion there could be below possible choices:-
1) There is no other method to pollinate fruits in the US other than pollination by bees
2) Consumers can not get the fruit supply from places other than US

Please help if my understanding of choice ‘D’ is correct. It says that reducing the use of pesticide may increase/decrease the honey bee population. But it does not consider the other cause of decline in Bee population-two types of mites. So this choice does not guarantee an answer to our questions while evaluation.

Thanks


The reason for honey bee population decline has absolutely NOTHING to do with the conclusion. So whether a reversal is possible or not is also completely irrelevant. That is the reason (D) is not useful is evaluating the conclusion.

What is the conclusion?

"If the honey bee population continues this drastic decline, then most fruits will no longer be available to consumers."

Note that the conclusion is a conditional: "If this happens, that will happen."
You don't have to worry about whether "this" will happen or not. All you have to worry about is if "this" does happen, will "that" happen?

Check the explanation given here: http://gmatclub.com/forum/in-the-past-5 ... l#p1143709
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In the past 50 years, the population of honeybees in the [#permalink]

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New post 24 Aug 2015, 00:08
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KS15 wrote:
IMO answer should be B. Having said that, I am not happy with the quality of this question given GMAT has only one correct choice and 4 incorrect choices.


Option (B) is incorrect. There is only one correct option and that is (D).
Check this link for explanation: http://gmatclub.com/forum/in-the-past-5 ... l#p1143709

Further, check out this detailed post on this question: http://www.veritasprep.com/blog/2012/11 ... onclusion/
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Re: In the past 50 years, the population of honeybees in the [#permalink]

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New post 24 Aug 2015, 21:12
Divyadisha wrote:

HI! Karishma,

Thanks for replying, but I am a bit confused now. You are saying that honey bee population has nothing to do with the conclusion; whereas, the conclusion says that decline in population will result in unavailability of fruits. So, certainly the population is important.

From the shared link I understand that we need to eliminate those options where decline in population has no role in availability of fruits and the flowers can be pollinated by other means.

But for choice ‘D’ if we take two extremes, I feel that the option makes sense to evaluate the argument
- YES. reducing the use of pesticide will reverse the decline (increase honey bee population)- Reduction of pesticide will help.
- NO. Reducing the use of pesticide will not reverse the decline- Reduction will not help

Please advise if there is any gap in my understanding.


Divya, the point is that whether a reversal is possible or not is immaterial to the conclusion.

Let me re-iterate:

What is the conclusion?

"If the honey bee population continues this drastic decline, then most fruits will no longer be available to consumers."

Note that the conclusion is a conditional: "If this happens, that will happen."
You don't have to worry about whether "this" will happen or not. All you have to worry about is if "this" does happen, will "that" happen?

As an example:
"If I flunk, I will need to take the test again."

If you want to evaluate this opinion, you will try to figure out what I should do if I flunk and whether taking the test again is the only option or only good option etc. Will you evaluate whether I will flunk or not? No. That is not the point of concern here. The point is what I should do if I do flunk.

Check out this question on my blog post (link given above).
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New post 25 Aug 2015, 21:40
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HCalum11 wrote:
This is a classic trap on hard CR questions...for B, nowhere does it say that we are only concerned with fruits in America. We are concerned with the availability of "most fruits" to consumers. So intuitively, if we knew about supply coming from other fruit producing regions, we would know more about the availability of "most fruit". Agree that D isn't a perfect answer, but recognizing B is a trap makes finding the real answer a lot easier.



You are spot on where (B) is concerned.
But (D) is the perfect answer. There can be no debate on it. The moment I will read it, I will mark it. I might not even take a look at (E) anymore. Look at my explanation given to Divya just two posts above yours.
Understanding that (D) is perfect is one of the core skills required in GMAT CR.
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New post 04 Nov 2016, 23:02
Alok322 wrote:

I am slightly confused about option C. Option C talks about hand pollination method for fruits that are already pollinated by bees. How is it relevant to the argument? Once the bees are extinct, we cant do much about this pollination technique. Can you please clarify?


Check the explanation to all options here:
http://gmatclub.com/forum/in-the-past-5 ... l#p1143709

(C) provides an alternative method of pollinating - by hand. If we are able to hand pollinate the fruit, then we don't need honey bees to pollinate them and hence, even if the population of bees declines, fruit will still be available.
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Re: In the past 50 years, the population of honeybees in the [#permalink]

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New post 18 Jan 2018, 05:29
IMO OA is D

The conclusion is 'most fruits will no longer be available to consumers.'

A Are there other insect pollinators that could pollinate these fruit crops instead of the honeybee?
-> Useful.
Yes : US people can use those fruits by replacing bees as a polinator.
No : US people cannot use those fruits.
B Are honeybee populations declining in other important fruit-producing regions, like Chile and New Zealand?
-> Useful
Yes : US people can use those fruits by importing other countries.
No : US people cannot use those fruits because US(no more poilinators) is the only country to produce those fruits.
C Is it feasible for humans to hand-pollinate the fruits that have been pollinated by bees?
-> Useful
Yes : Without pollinators, US people can produce those fruits.
No : Same as C
D Will reducing the use of pesticides in the United States reverse the decline in honeybee populations?
-> Useless!!!
The passage argues that use of pesticides are primarily reason.
Enen though reducing the use of pesticides, there is still possibility that most fruits will no longer be available to consumers
E Is it possible to genetically engineer fruit-producing plants so that they no longer require pollination?
-> Useful
Yes : Same as C
No : Same as C
Re: In the past 50 years, the population of honeybees in the   [#permalink] 18 Jan 2018, 05:29
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