Have you been wondering how to save the bees? There’s good reason for the increased media buzz around the topic; everyone should be asking what the world would look like without these hardworking garden creatures. If we did survive a world without bees our lives would look very different.
More than just our suppliers of honey, bees help us maintain a balanced ecosystem and are key to pollinating our agriculture industry and the foods we eat. How would your day feel without your morning coffee, vanilla for your baking, and even the cotton in your clothes? This would be the sad reality of a life without bees.
Why We Should Act Now
We all know honey bees travel from plant to plant carrying pollen, but you might not know just how important they are to many aspects of our lives. So let’s take a closer look at why we need to save the bees:
The importance of pollinators
Pollination is critical for ensuring seed production in flowering plants and for maintaining natural and diverse ecosystems. Pollinators like bees, flies, bats, and wasps are the traveling animals that carry pollen within plant communities.
While there are lots of pollinators in the world, honey bees are by far the most vital and effective. Did you know that honey bees are responsible for about 80% of pollination worldwide? In fact, in one day, a single bee colony can pollinate 300 million flowers! That’s some pretty heavy lifting for a group of tiny insects.
Bees are also very effective pollinators because they practice flower fidelity, meaning they focus on one species of flower at a time. As a result, they are more likely to transfer pollen between a single species.
Since bees are so great at their ‘job’ in our ecosystem, the other pollinators wouldn’t be able to pick up the slack. Without bees, future generations will know a very different world.
Agriculture and food supply
Honey isn’t the only food we rely on honey bees for; they also play a vital role in our agriculture industry and food security.
Honey bees are considered a “keystone species” and are directly responsible for one out of every three bites of food we take. Without bees, our dinner plates would be quite bare and boring. Pollination makes it possible to enjoy life with mangoes, chocolate, and almonds – some of our favorite foods!
Bee pollination makes up about $15 billion in added crop value and today the commercial production of more than 90 crops relies on bee pollination. Without bees traveling from plant to plant, the United States agriculture industry would face serious economic challenges and our food supply would become vastly less secure.
A delicate balance in the ecosystem
As we learned in school, each part of nature relies on another; but maybe many people haven’t considered just how complex and interconnected an ecosystem is.
Humans would not be the only affected species if bees were to become extinct. Bees help trees, flowers, and other plants grow, which serve as food and shelter for lots of other creatures. Consider birds and small animals that eat seeds and berries. Without their food source, they wouldn’t survive, and the effects filter throughout the ecosystem.
If we strive to save the bees, more plants and animals will be able to coexist and thrive in a healthy environment as a result.
What is threatening the bees?
The dropping bee population is due partly to climate change – warming temperatures and changing weather patterns are making the honey bee’s survival more challenging - but pesticides and parasites are an even greater threat.
Most significantly is the increase in parasites, like the Varroa mite who, unlike the honey bee, are thriving in a warming climate. As these external parasites to the honey bee become more prevalent, the honey bee can’t keep up. The Varroa mite can destroy an entire hive if it becomes infested, leaving bees weak and malformed.
Honey bees are also threatened by pesticides, urban sprawl, and monocropping agriculture, making the odds stacked against this small but mighty creature.
How you can help save the bees
Fortunately, there are ways you can help save the bees.
First, you can start in your own backyard. Use the Perpetual Pollen’s Everbee solution to combat the honey bee’s most significant threat, the Varroa mite. It’s the first science-backed consumer product to help save the bees and it’s launching soon. Sign up for our waitlist to find out more!
Buying organic food, planting a bee-friendly garden, and avoiding the use of pesticides are also great ways to start saving the bees and our beautiful ecosystem.
“Every dollar you spend . . . or don’t spend . . . is a vote you cast for the world you want.”
― L.N. Smith