Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably know that large colonies of bees are disappearing from the face of the Earth without a trace. No one is sure why. Scientists suspect pollution as the main culprit, but most likely, it’s a combination of factors to blame. Losing so many bees is a major problem as science considers them one of the most important species on the planet.
Only 4 out of over 25,000 species of bees make honey. The hard-working insect is responsible for pollinating flowers and then cross-pollinating other blooms which is crucial for the formation of viable seeds. Although many don’t consider the insects valuable at all, it seems that bees are truly crucial for life on Earth.
What Makes Them So Special?
According to statistics, native and honey bees pollinate over 60% of plants, with the rest done by wasps, flies, and butterflies among other insects. More than 80% of plants depend on insects for pollination. As crucial pollinators, bees are invaluable for life on Earth.
It’s not just our ecosystem – they affect other areas of our life as well. Since they pollinate plants, they are directly responsible for our economy and other socio-economic aspects. According to data from Green Peace, the global economic advantage of bee pollination is $280 billion per year.
The same statistical data showed that bees are responsible for over 1/3 of the food we consume. Many crops that don’t need pollination are also dependent on bees as they need them to produce seeds. Now we hear you saying “But some plants can self-pollinate”. That’s true, but self-pollination often breeds unhealthy offspring and promotes non-diversity, something that doesn’t happen with bee-pollinated crops and plants.
As you can see, bees are crucial for our lives which is why we need to do everything in our power to help them survive.
Why Do Bees Disappear?
As mentioned, colonies of bees are disappearing without a trace in recent years and no one’s sure why. Pollution definitely plays a role and natural bee habitat decline due to deforestation is a major threat to the species as well.
Over 40% of bee colonies in the USA die annually and the problem is present all over the world. Replacing bees is not possible – they are a one-of-a-kind insect nature (and us) depend on.
Environmental organizations and respectable figures have vowed not to stay quiet as the climate crisis escalates. As more bees disappear, the species will eventually go extinct and destroy life on Earth as we know it.
We can’t let that happen. This is why we all need to raise our voice against deforestation and the increasing destruction of the environment. Increasing organic farming should help save bee habitats – that’s at least a start.