You might after reading this. What would happen in a world without bees? They are vanishing. Have you heard of the “colony collapse disorder”?
Researchers are scrambling to find out why. All elements of an ecosystem are important to the functioning of that ecosystem. Remove one element and the system will need to make adjustments. The effect of that adjustment may often not be known until after it has happened.
Why should you care? If we didn’t have bees what would happen to us?
In particular we know that over one-third of our food supply relies upon them for pollination services and we know that pollination is essential for the reproduction of the plants the bees service.
We’d still have bananas and pineapples as they don’t require pollination but we would lose any plants that bees pollinate. Knock on effect of this would mean that we wouldn’t be able to make clothes out of cotton anymore as there would be none, medicines would be affected (most use plant extracts), animals need feed but there would be nothing to feed them, basically without bees there’s no pollination, then no plants, without plants there’s no animals.
Ever since Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) was first identified, companies, celebrities and ordinary citizens alike have been falling over themselves to help our furry pollinating friends. The loss of honey bees could have an enormous horticultural and economic impact worldwide. Like many things about nature, we humans take honeybees for granted.
The first thing you can do is stop consuming honey and buying it from the supermarket? This is contributing to the collapse of the honey bee. What does drizzling some honey on your morning granola have to do with all this? Why don’t vegans eat honey?
Beekeepers are notorious for contributing to the spread of disease: ‘Beekeepers move infected combs from diseased colonies to healthy colonies, fail to recognize or treat disease, purchase old infected equipment, keeping colonies too close together. Feeding bees artificial diets, because farmers take the honey that bees would normally eat, leaving bees susceptible to sickness and attack from other insects. When diseases are detected, beekeepers are advised to ‘destroy the colony and burn the equipment,’ which can mean burning or gassing the bees to death. None of this is helping the bee and all of this is about money. Is the world worth risking for the honey industry? We do not need to support this industry. It’s another form of exploiting animals.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Stop using insecticides – especially for ‘cosmetic’ gardening.
Avoid seeds coated with systemic insecticides.
Create a natural habitat – let some of your garden go wild, this creates a safe haven for bees.
Plant bee-friendly flowers.
If you must use honey, don’t buy from supermarkets, support your local honey supplier. Make sure they are following healthy, friendly bee keeping ways. Don’t be afraid to ask them.
Don’t buy products with honey listed as an ingredient. Do you really need honey in your shampoo?
Share your knowledge of bees – encouraging others to make necessary changes!