A serious threat is being posed to English apples because of the devastating effect that bad weather and disease has had on the honeybee population.
Experts say a threat is imminent because apple trees rely 90% on the honeybee for pollination, with one third of all fruit and vegetables consumed in the UK pollinated by the honeybee.
It is predicted that the plight of the honeybee could threaten more than £165 million of agricultural production in the UK and that English beekeepers' honey could run out in supermarkets by Christmas.
Adrian Barlow, chief executive of English Apples & Pears, said: "We are currently in the midst of English apple season. The threat to the honeybee is a huge concern as without bees to pollinate there would be a real risk of apple shortages in the future."
Martin Ridler, orchard controller for Gaymers Cider, said: "We need beehives in orchards because we rely on honeybees to pollinate apple blossom in spring. You can hope for insects and the wind to help, but honeybees guarantee pollination."
The decline in honeybee numbers has already had an impact on apple production in Northern Ireland, resulting in Agriculture Minister Michelle Gildernew pledging to draw up a Bee Health Strategy to halt vanishing populations.
The apple joins other crops under threat such as pears, raspberries, broccoli and runner beans due to their reliance on the honeybee for their pollination.
A study by the British Beekeepers' Association (BBKA) found that nearly one in three of Britain's 240,000 honeybee hives failed to survive last winter and spring.
The National Bee Unit, which monitors bee health, attributed the high mortality rate to wet weather last summer and in early spring, meaning bees were confined to hives which stopped them foraging and allowed pathogens to spread.
Stuart Bailey, chairman of Rowse Honey, said: "In the future, English varieties of apples we have come to know and love may no longer be available and consumers will struggle to enjoy them as part of a healthy diet."