Bees are one of natures best pollinators. Without them the Earth would be a drastically different place. When a bee pollinates a plant, it allows that plant to grow seeds and produce fruit. Without the bees many of the fruits and vegetables people eat on a daily basis would no longer exist.Beekeepers all across America have been noting a sudden disappearance of bees. More and more of their colonies have been dying off every year during the winter. Many of the things we as humans are doing to produce better, bigger, and healthier crops are actually harming the bees. Some sections of the world have completely killed off bees so the humans living there have to pollinate all of their plants by hand.
Population bythe thousands
For the past 30 years the honey bee population has been in a steady decline. Every year more and more bees die off never to return. It is now estimated that around 30% of beekeeper’s colonies will not survive the year. That number has grown significantly in the past few years. If not for a beekeepers ability to divide colonies, bees would be very close to extinction. When a colony is divided the two halves with give birth to new queens and build a new colony.
Almost every modern farm uses several different kinds of pesticides to keep harmful insects away from their plants. Unfortunately many of those pesticides are also harmful to the bees. When the bees gather the pollen they also collect the pesticide which has a chance to poison them and the rest of their colony. That means the next spoonful of honey you eat will most likely be full of pesticide residue.
The majority of farms across America grow one or two crops in an extremely large quantity. This creates a monoculture of just those few crops. The lack of biodiversity not only hurts the soil but also the bees. A few hundred years ago when farms were filled with many kinds of crops, chances are the bees could find a few things to pollinate and help them survive. However when acres and acres of land are filled with the same crop it can lead to starvation.
If bees were to completely disappear from our planet, our lives would change in many ways. Bees pollinate about 70% of the worlds fruits and vegetables. That means that 70% of what is in your grocery store’s produce department will be gone. Not only will that directly impact us, but it will impact animals that depend on those foods. Many of the animals that produce meat and dairy will begin to starve because the alfalfa that their hay is made from will no longer be as well. That means the extinction of bees not only affects the fruits and vegetables we eat, but also the meat and dairy. Aside from just food, the disappearance of bees will also mean a huge financial crash for the worlds economy. If 70% of the food we eat is pollinated by bees and they disappear, that means 70% of the agricultural business will also go under. That is about 200 billion dollars of global revenue that will cease to exist. So not only will there be a lack of food, but also a large financial depression.Many of the items we use on a daily basis will become extremely rare and valuable. Every day things such as clothing. Without cotton the majority of our clothes can not be made. If you think clothes are over priced now, just wait.
There are a few ways to slow the decrease in bee population. One of the biggest is to get rid of pesticides. There have been countless ways that farmers have come up with as a replacement to harmful pesticides. Pesticides not only kill all the beneficial insects that help a plant grow, but are also extremely harmful to the environment and soil that the plants use to grow.Another way to help bring the bee population back up is to introduce more plants to the huge single crop farms. We must add some biodiversity to our farms. Even if it is something as simple as creating borders between fields of flowering bushes for the bees. Farmers should plant bushes and flowers that bloom at different times of the year so the bees can live year round. Even farms that have flowering plants need to introduce more variety. The almond tree provides some of the best pollen for bees. It is extremely high in protein and when the flowers are blooming, the bees thrive. However every year millions of colonies of bees across the nation must be trucked into the large almond orchards for the bloom, then trucked out. Once the almonds stop blooming, the bees have nothing to eat and will die. Planting additional food sources would allow the bees to stay in the area year round lets the bee population grow across the country.