Bees Are Dying!!!
Bees are endlessly intriguing, and incredibly necessary to us. If bees disappeared, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to grow much of what we eat. Bees pollinate crops ranging from apples to zucchini. Blueberries and almonds are almost entirely dependent on them. Bees are good pollinators because, unlike some birds and other insects that are after nectar alone, they also seek out pollen which they use along with nectar to feed the hive. In the process, they transfer pollen from the male part of one flower to the female part of another, fertilizing plants so they can develop seed-carrying fruits. Wild bees and domesticated honey bees are both important pollinators.
The Effect on the Planet is Drastic
Sadly, both wild and domesticated bees are in trouble, and that means we could be too. Causes of phenomena such as Colony Collapse Disorder and other declines in bee populations, are not entirely understood but scientists are getting closer to knowing why bees are dying. Ironically, much of it relates to agricultural practices. Modern methods of growing food are killing one of our biggest helpers in food production.
What’s Going on in Honey Bee Colonies Worldwide?
A list of possible causes for Bee Colony Collapse Disorder includes beekeeper management practices, new pesticides, pesticide use patterns, nutritional deficits associated with extensive monocultures, climate change, exotic parasites and pathogens, diminished immunity to pathogens or even interactions among two or more of these factors. This disorder is a phenomenon in which worker bees from a colony abruptly disappear. The mysterious vanishing of honey bees from hives can be directly linked to insecticide use, according to new research from Harvard University. The scientists showed that exposure to two neonicotinoids, the world’s most widely used class of insecticide, lead to half the colonies studied dying, while none of the untreated colonies saw their bees disappear.
Today the disappearance of honey bees has transformed into a global epidemic, negatively affecting ecosystems in a multitude of environments.
The impact honey bees have on the human population and the environment is far more crucial than we may think. Agricultural crops rely on honey bees worldwide to provide them with life and guarantee their reproduction. Without bees, there would be significantly less pollination which would result in limited plant growth and lower food supplies. According to Dr Albert Einstein, “If the bee disappears from the surface of the Earth, man would have no more than four years to live. No more bees, no more pollination … no more men.”
How Can We Help?
One of the easiest ways to help rejuvenate the honey bee population is to respect honey bees. Learn to preserve beehives and embrace bees’ roles in our ecosystem. The bees have a job to do, and threatening their quality of life will consequently threaten everyone’s. There are also proactive ways to encourage the regrowth of bee colonies. We need to get a handle on the toxic chemicals we use to grow food. As individuals, we can help bees. Stop using pesticides and join the call to ban the worst ones. Plant bee-friendly plants and gardens, make wild bee ‘houses’ and learn more about our fuzzy, buzzing friends. If we want to eat, if we want to survive, we have to come up with a long-term solution.