We’ve all heard the news about how bee populations are declining. Celebrities like Morgan Freeman have spoken out about protecting global bee populations. Freeman even turned his 126-acre ranch in Mississippi into a home for bees.
But now, experts are going a step further.
They have declared bees the single most important creature on the planet.
The declaration comes after many years of research. We now understand how intricately bees are entwined with our ecosystems.
“The critical symbiosis between insects, especially bees, and flowering plants has created a rich diversity of life on Earth,” said Dr. George McGavin, a prominent entomologist. “The origin of bees coincides with the main radiation of the angiosperms approximately 100 million years ago.”
The concern about the decline in bee populations isn’t just for their sake.
Rather, we’re facing the fact that if bee populations die, the earth might go with it.
“There are around 20,000 species of bee (not just honey bees) and many are solitary species,” said McGavin. “Bees are essential to our survival — without the world’s bees, we would have to change our eating habits dramatically. No flowers, no fruits, no vegetables.”
Greenpeace studies show that up to 90 percent of the food humans consume is affected by bee activity.
In fact, it relies on pollination from bees. This includes fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts.
“We know we can’t feed the world’s population on meat and fish, which is already in short supply, so it will be bread and gruel all round,” said McGavin.
There’s something scary about this.
Dwindling bee populations are likely to create a domino effect on food supply. As pollination stops, the earth becomes less diverse. This kills off more plants and animals.
“More than 20,000 bee species around the world are the most important group of pollinators for farming and wild plants,” said a representative from The Honeybee Conservancy. “Populations are declining due to a variety of factors including human development, pesticides, disease and a changing climate.”
So, what can each of us do to help the global bee population?
It’s approaching dangerously low population numbers. Unlike Morgan Freeman, most of us don’t have a 126-acre farm to transform. What’s our responsibility?
One easy way to help the bees is to make bee-friendly habitats. That means planting gardens full of flowers and fruit. Don’t think you can’t make a green space just because you don’t have a big yard. Even using a planter on a windowsill can help.
You can also research what types of plants are best.
Some flowers are sterile or don’t have pollen. That means they don’t support bees. Trees are another great way to help increase the bee population, as they serve as quiet spots where they can build nests, like bee boxes.
Of course, donating to hive conservation charities and beekeepers is one of the best ways. You can do that by buying their products. Who doesn’t want more honey and beeswax?
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