Did you know that bee decline poses a big threat to food supplies, as bees pollinate a third of the food we eat such as tomatoes, beans, apples and strawberries?
No bees, no food… A chilling thought!
Over the past couple of years, honey bees across the world have been disappearing at an alarming rate. According to a news article in, The Globe and Mail, the past winter was catastrophic for bees – the worst yet on record. World over, bees have been reported to leave their hives, never to return again. And apart from bees other pollinating insects like butterflies, moths, hoverflies etc., have also been seriously affected.
Did you know that without insect pollination about 75% of crops would suffer from decrease in productivity? Without a doubt, some of the most important crops of mass consumption including important fruits and vegetables would be badly affected. It should suffice to say that this would have serious repercussions at every level! But it is not just crop plants, most other plants in an ecosystem are dependent directly or indirectly on bees and other insect pollinators.
This phenomenon which has been termed as the ‘Colony Collapse Disorder’ has disastrous implications which have been observed across the globe. According to a BBC report, ‘the loss of bee numbers is costing UK farmers almost £200 million a year’.
Many reasons have been attributed to why honey bees are vanishing. Some studies show that global climate change may be responsible for confusing the bees, while others believe an increase in electromagnetic radiation to be the prime cause. Apart from that, certain pesticides known as neonicotinoids have also been scientifically shown to be harmful to bees (sos-bees.org). European Commission is actually having a trial-ban on certain pesticides to see if this leads to an increase in bee numbers.
People don’t realize the critical role bees play in our daily lives. Albert Einstein once said that, “if the bee disappeared off the face of the earth, man would have only four years left to live,” and he was absolutely right. As can be deduced from the above mentioned studies, bees are responsible for maintaining ecosystems and agriculture because they are important pollinators. The honey yielded by these hard-working bees is another boon to mankind. Used in thousands of medicinal and cosmetic preparations around the world, honey is of prime importance. Bees are some of the most important creatures on the planet!
So you can well imagine that if bees were to no longer exist, it would take a massive hit on the world as we know it. Many species of animals would disappear simultaneously bringing the earth much closer to its doom, than it already is. The environmental imbalances caused by our actions have dire consequences and it is high time we realize this!
Save the Bees
- Don’t spray pesticides: Pesticides, insecticides, weedicides and basically any chemical induced concoctions are a major culprit in ‘Colony Collapse Disorder’, and the best way to help bees is to stop spraying the stuff!
- Say No to GMOs: Buy organic. Support organic farmers who use natural farming methods that are bee-friendly.
- Don’t support industrial honey: Large-scale honey operations are more focused on output and profit than with the health of the bees. If you’re going to eat honey, make sure it comes from a small operation.
- Plant a bee-friendly habitat: Pollinators need a place to pollinate, and by providing bee-friendly plants in your yard, porch or window box, you give them a place to just be. Plants like fruit, herbs, melons and even some trees can attract bees to your yard or garden.
- Spread Awareness: Take part in initiatives that spread information about the cause and ways in which we can help. Teach children the importance of these insects and to be considerate.
- Don’t fear if there is a beehive in your balcony, they will not harm you, only bless you.