Why It’s Critical To Save The Bees To Save The Earth
Why are Bees Important?
Believe it or not, man has been worshipping the Bees since time immortal. Whether it was the ancient Egyptian civilization that considered bees as royalty in 3500 BC or early Indian Hindu mythology that believes that the Hindu God of Love, Kama Dev’s cupid arrows are covered with bees, or the legendary Greek poet Homer mentioning the benefits of bees in his epigrams, humans have understood the extraordinary value of bees since centuries.
How are Bees Beneficial for Humans?
- Pollination Partners: Bees play an essential role in the process of pollination. On average a bee may visit up to 100 flowers per flight while it scours for sweet nectar. This means that each beehive may be able to pollinate an unbelievable 20 million flowers in a single day.
- Fostering Food Crops: Bees also play an important role in improving crop yield. These fuzzy-buzzy bugs help improve the yield of several food crops including nuts, fruits, and vegetables.
- Cash Crop Champions: Bees, especially honey bees, also help improve the output of cash crops like cotton, soybean, sesame, and tamarind to name a few.
- The beauty of Biodiversity: The inconspicuous little bee is a key player in maintaining the beautiful biodiversity of our planet. It plays a crucial role in maintaining the biodiversity of the ecosphere.
- Honey Honey Honey: Honey bees provide us with the eternal elixir—honey. Honey is one of the best natural sweeteners and also possesses great germ-destroying properties.
- Beeswax: Beeswax is used as an important raw material in different products including food, cosmetics, and furniture.
Why do humans harm bees?
Though our forefathers and ancestors realized the usefulness of these fuzzy drones, their children in the 21st century have been largely responsible for the decline in the population of bees.
So, why do modern humans harm bees?
Bee stings: Humans are scared of being stung by bees. In fact, the bumblebee sting may be really painful. Also, honey bee sting may cause severe pain and intense allergic reactions.
- Honey bees: Honey bee combs can be really heavy. They may build up pressure on the building structures including roofs, fences, and walls. Also, the waxy residue of beehives melts in high temperatures. This leads to staining of walls and roof surfaces.
- Carpenter Bee: Female Carpenter Bees excavate through the wood to build their nests. This results in tiny holes on the wooden surface. These holes seem pretty innocent and it appears as substantial damage. However, with repeated excavation taking place, Carpenter Bees can cause considerable damage in the long run.
- Mason Bee: Mason bees drill holes into wooden structures. When the holes are close to each other in a small area, it allows the atmospheric moisture to enter the wooden structure through these holes. The moisture causes the weakening of the wooden structure.
Damage to Horticulture:
At times, too many bees visiting parks and horticulture units may result in damage to plants. Sometimes, bees also propagate diseases in plants.
Human Impact on Bees
In recent times, the bee population has been rapidly decreasing. Alarmingly, about 1/3rd of the bee and butterfly population is falling at disturbing rates. In fact, approximately 10% bee and butterfly species have been recently classified as endangered species.
The bee population has been declining across the world. While the US saw a decline of almost 90% of bee colonies in the early 21st century, in recent years the bee population in the Middle East has seen a fall of 85%.
Causes of Decline in Bee Population:
- A decline in Wild Flowers: The increase in urbanization and extensive use of herbicides to improve agricultural output has led to a decrease in wildflowers. As a result, bees are not able to find food to find pollen and nectar to meet their nutritional requirements, resulting in death due to lack of food and hunger.
- Disease & Natural Causes: Many times bee populations decline due to disease and natural causes. Like humans, bees also suffer from parasitical infections, and disease leading to death.
- Toxic Insecticides and Pesticides: Insecticides and pesticides are the biggest cause of the decrease in the bee population. Neonicotinoids are the biggest threat to the bee population. The Neonicotinoids disturb the neurological functioning of bees, especially honey bees, eventually causing large scale death of bee colonies.
- Habitat Loss: Humans have been clearing grasslands to meet their growing need for agriculture. In a lot of places, the practice of monoculture results in a fall of natural resources required by these buzzy bugs for sufficing their food and reproductive needs.
- Climate Change: Bees have seen a drastic decline in population due to climate change. More often they are not able to sustain the ill-effects of climate change and die due to drastic weather patterns like storms, flooding, extensive snow, and even drought.
Save The Bees:
As Albert Einstein is once believed to have said, “If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years left to live.” With the bee population falling at alarming rates, the time has come to work proactively to Save the Bees.
A lot of organizations across the world, have launched the “Save The Bees Campaign” to prevent further decline in the bee population.
Significant Reasons to Save Bees:
- To Save The Ecosystem: If we want to protect our ecosystem, preserve the rich and diverse biodiversity of this pretty planet, it is vital to save bees from becoming extinct. Bees are crucial to the ecosystem for sustaining the food chain and promoting the growth of wildlife habitats including forests, grasslands, and jungles.
- To Meet Our Food Requirement: According to scientists, bees help in the pollination process of more than 400 different agricultural plants and We may thank bees when we eat vegetables like okra, celery, onion, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, coriander, and carrots, along with fruits like kiwifruit, strawberry, papaya, lychee, apple, and passion fruit. As per the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), bees are active pollinators in almost 80% of vegetables, fruits, and nuts cultivated in the US.
- To help farmers: Cash crops such as cocoa, vanilla, and passion fruit are up to 100 percent reliant on pollination by bees. Without bees, farmers will not be able to improve their output. According to recent research done by agricultural specialists at Cornell University, honey bees and other insects have contributed $29 billion dollars to farm income.
- For further research: Everyday researchers and pharmaceutical companies are discovering unknown impacts of the bee population on humans and planet earth. In order to preserve our tomorrow, it is critical to prevent a further decline in the bee populace.
- For improving the cattle population: Apart from contributing to agriculture, honey bees are also crucial for providing us bountiful meat and dairy foods. Bees help provide high-protein food to cattle by improving pollination in plants like alfalfa, lespedeza, and clover.
- For honey: Honey is not only a healthy substitute to processed sugars, but it also provides antibacterial In fact, it is one of the oldest wound-healing substances used by mankind. Obviously, without honey bees.
- For a lovely landscape: Imagine a landscape devoid of trees, with dry and arid dirt surfaces, and no flowers! If we do not take active measures to protect bees, this ghastly image may become a reality. It is quite impossible for several tree species, like willows and poplars to survive without the pollination activity of bees.
Without bees, the earth would be devoid of pretty flowers. They support pollination activities in more than 15% flowering plants on earth. Nothing sums up the relation between a flower and bees better than the poet Kahlil Gibran’s profound words: “To the bee, a flower is the fountain of life, and to the flower, the bee is a messenger of love.”
- For all required industrial products: The endless list of products made using beeswax include candles, furniture wax, chewing gum, skin ointments, lubricants, molding wax, crayons, waterproof sealants, polishes, and lip balm.
Simple Ideas to Save the Bees:
Here are some simple and easy to follow ideas to help you do your little bit to save the bees:
Avoid Pesticides: Since pesticides are the biggest cause of bee deaths, the first step towards preventing further bee population decline is to control the usage of toxic pesticides and insecticides. Not only are they detrimental to bees they pose a serious health threat to humans as well.
A Bee-Friendly Garden: Plants like dandelion, clover, monarda, cosmos, alfalfa, coneflower, honeysuckle, sunflower, and dahlia are much more than beautiful flowers. They provide much-required nectar and pollen to bees. Plant these and you are sure to save the bees.
Buy Honey: Buying honey supports local beekeepers. This motivates local beekeepers to increase bee colonies. Small and local beekeepers are very important in building a sustainable bee population.
The little bee is the David to our Goliath. It is an undeniable and irrefutable fact, that we humans need them for our food, daily requirements, and also to sustain our planet.
When it comes to our dependence on bees, let us remember that we do not have a plan bee. Let us keep in mind the motto, “If All the Bees in the World Die, Humans Will Not Survive”.