I read that article in Nat'l Geographic. It did a great job explaining the danger the planet is facing in plain, simple talk so the average non-beekeeper can understand. It suggested that "we give native pollinators more of what they need and less of what they don't, and ease the burden on managed bees by letting native animals do their part." The article urges plant diversity, diverse bloom times, and pesticide free havens.
The article concludes with a quote from conservation biologist Claire Kremen of UC Berkley. Speaking about the potential loss of variety in our food, clothing, fuel, beverages, etc., Kremen states, "We wouldn't starve. In a sense, our lives would be dictated by the wind."
China has not killed off anything close to ALL their bees. There are some valleys of intense agriculture in the mountainous regions of China where they have sprayed the beejeebers out of the land and killed off nearly everything except the crops themselves. The spraying is rather indiscriminate and many people have become ill from it.
To add insult to injury, they erect giant mist nets at one end of the fields and drive birds (natural predators of many of the pest insects and insect problematic to humans) to the nets where the birds get tangled and are then are killed (and often eaten) by the people. The skies are silent. They place traps and poison for all the rodents and their predators. Nearly every living thing is eradicated in an effort to reduce any crop loss or potential for crop loss.
The wonderful Asian Pears grown in China are primarily from one region in China where they are grown on mountainsides at elevations above the "treated" valley below. These areas are suffering from a dearth of pollinators, so the ingenuity of the pear growers was tested and they now hand pollinate. The pear farmers have complained to the valley farmers and to the government, but the government says: "Deal with it. Our way (wholesale spraying) is most efficient."
In other regions, most crops are wind pollinated, such as grains, or can be easily hand pollinated (ground crops like cucurbits; e.g., squash, cucumbers, etc.), so the lack of bees presents some problem, but the problem is not insurmountable - especially considering all the cheap labor available.
Where oil crops are grown (sunflower, brassica [rape seed] seed, sesame, etc, ), and where the sheer volume of bee-pollinated vegetable crops prevails, and they use lots of hand labor to manage and harvest the crops, they spray less, hand pick pests more, and the honey producers set up shop and produce many tons of honey while serving as pollinators for those huge acreages of mono-cultured crop.