Bees-where would we bee without them? They pollinate the flowers that beautify our parks and even the fruits, vegetables and nuts we eat. Without pollination we wouldn’t have the delicious foods we enjoy every day, or the flowers that bloom every spring.
But something tragic is happening: a bee genocide. Bees across the globe are being killed off by pesticides, global warming, habitat destruction and more. But it’s not too late; there’s still time to save the bees.
Bees don’t only benefit plants by providing pollination; they also benefit humans by producing the sweet honey from their hives that we use for cooking. Their hives also act as a food source for bears, raccoons, skunks, birds and insects according to OneGreenPlanet.org.
Without bees, we wouldn’t have our beloved Winnie the Pooh-who also loved his honey-or the famous Barry B. Benson from the Bee Movie. But while the cartoons make bee life seem like a fairytale, in the real world bees are facing the rapidly-approaching specter of extinction.
Humans have invented countless products to facilitate agricultural growth; unfortunately, one of those products is pesticide. One of the pesticides in particular used in America are neonicotoids, which are extremely dangerous and damage bees’ immune systems. This can make it easy for illness to overtake, and eventually kill them.
Neonicotoids are used on a wide range of plants and foods, including the ones that bees are responsible for pollinating. When they pollinate said plants, bees come into contact with these lethal chemicals, which enter and can eventually destroy their immune systems.
The sole purpose of these pesticides is to protect our crops from harmful bacteria, diseases and insects, but they are also one of the components responsible for harming the one insect in charge of their fertilization. There’s no point in protecting our crops with pesticides if they murder the animal responsible for their procreation.
As of Friday, Sept. 30, the yellow-faced bee is considered an endangered species. According to the Washington Post, seven species of bees are now in danger of disappearing forever, and it is up to the human race to prevent it.
The bees, who take up permanent residence in the Hawaiian Islands, have fallen victim to habitat loss caused by invasive insects, animals and humans. There are programs in place to help the bee population rise, but its not enough on its own.
While there might not be much we [in Ohio] can do to help the bee species in Hawaii, there are many ways to help the bee populations rise on this side of the country. QueenoftheSun.com, (a website dedicated to saving the bees), says not to use-or promote the use of-pesticides on your lawn or in public places like parks.
You may see some weeds on your grass but that’s a small price to pay compared to the loss of life pesticides can cause for bees.
Come springtime, plant more flowers. You’ll be amazed by how vibrant they look when the bees take over.
Most importantly: do not kill a bee if you think it’s about to sting you. Contrary to popular belief, bees don’t want to hurt you. If a bee seems to be bothering you, it could be because it feels threatened. Just calmly walk away and let the bees do their thing.
You can also attend the upcoming choir concert to hear a song about bumble-bees, sung by Orange’s very own varsity singers. They will also be accepting donations of any amount going toward programs dedicated to helping the bee population rise.
Bees have been around a lot longer than humans; without them we wouldn’t be able to survive and the vegetation on Earth would be annihilated. So think twice next time you’re about to swat a bee.