By Judge Kunce
Bees. A cringeworthy topic for most. However, just where would we be without bees?
According to HoneyLove.org, honey bees pollinate 30% of food and crops in the US. The list of benefits that honeybees offer is plentiful.
Major crops such as apples, strawberries, mangoes, onions, almonds, pears and even coffee are all pollinated by these such honey bees. What the world world do without these major and essential crops? Imagine hard, because the decline in population of honey bees is happening now, and fast.
To many people’s astonishment, in just one year’s time, over $15 billion worth of U.S. crops are pollinated by bees. In addition to this, HoneyLove.org also states that honey bees also produce about $150 million worth of commercial honey alone.
Not only does it produce these large amounts of money, but it keeps the economy out of the gutter too. If there are less bees, crops will go up in price due to less quantity.
So what can people do to help prevent the massive decline in the honey bee population?
Unfortunately, humans are the main cause in this rapid decline. They pose the biggest threat due to the insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides used in agricultural settings. Any of these pesticides used can and will poison the bees through pollen, nectar, air, water and even the soil and fertilizer.
Not only do bees die off because of pesticides, but they can also be affected by lack of nutrition. Bees can feed off of flowers to collect their main source of nutrition and protein.
Bees that are protected by keepers are fed with supplementary feed, but this only does so much because bees still need to work off of the pollen from these flowers.
At times, especially in subpolar temperate areas, flowers for bees are scarce. If the source of nutrition is not abundant, how will the bee population be anywhere close? Bees are also affected by the parasites and diseases within their own species. According to Greenpeace Resource Laboratories, almost 75% of these diseases and parasites cannot be fought off by natural adaptation because these causes are invasive.
So what can be done about this travesty? Simply, we need more bee-friendly plants. Bees solely survive off of the pollen they produce off of these plants so why not plant more plants?
Some plants that bees will go crazy for are alfalfa, sage, oregano and lavender. However, bees do not only need these plants. Other plants that bees can endure are mint, rosemary, thyme, sunflowers, and cornflowers.
People can also start promoting ecological farming and ban harmful pesticides to help the honey bees.
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