Imagine a life with veggies and fruits as luxury goods, because you can’t grow them in your garden anymore. You have to eat corn and rice everyday. The dystopia of living a movie-like life (Interstellar) could become our reality. Maybe even sooner than later.
But what could cause the situation that I’m describing here? Maybe an atomic war or aliens putting a hex on our plants? I’m talking about none of that, I talk about the dying of the bees.
Maybe that causes a little laughter, or you have never actually thought About these little machines at all, then you should now! And yes, I call them machines! They are responsible for 80% of plant pollination all over the world. That means, they are the most productive workers in the entire farm-working-chain (not in Sechuan/China anymore, because they are already gone there). Bees are responsible for 200 BILLION € profit per year in the farming sector. If bees, including all kinds of wildbees and bumblebees as well, are gone, so is 1/3 of the Worlds comestibles.
Agriculture would suffer a lot from what farmers and government are responsible for in the first place. It’s like a dog biting its own tail. It’s a dead end.
Number one cause for the mass mortality of our little busy friends is the use of PESTIZIDES. Especially GLYPHOSAT makes bees suffer a lot, it takes away their sense of orientation and when they can’t find the way back to their beehive, they will just die from exhaustion at some point.
Little sidefact: The permission of the use of GLYPHOSAT in agriculture got prolonged by the EU in Spring 2018, even as there are studies that confirm that this particular pestizite is responsible for cancer in human beings.
Especially the wild- and bumblebees suffer from building development, forest clearance and Asphalt coating. Their natural habitat gets smaller and smaller and makes them starve to dead.
Besides those two main facts, there is the impact of monocultures which affects their life a lot and the struggle with the varroa mite, which is a natural enemy of the honey bee, but this is something the apiarist knows how to handle (of course there are natural and chemical ways to treat that mite. both are effective, so why choosing the chemicals? Because it’s cheaper? Well, congrats!)
If society thinks of pollination, we think of honey bees, but they are actually not the most productive workers of their species. Especially bumblebees are diligent and dedicated workers. They work at any weather, they can stand the cold better than their thinner family members, and they are not as picky as honey bees. Bumblebees go for nectar and pollen and honey bees are only happy with pollen. Bumblebees also have a better sense of orientation and especially in Europe there are more and more breeders that deliver bumblebees to greenhouses all over the world. Of Course there are black sheep in the industry that just kill the bumble bees, when they start to get lazy and are ready for reproduction. Bred bumble bees are also susceptible for different diseases and it’s critical if they get out of the greenhouse and mix with the wild bumblebees, but I think that we are on a good way to #safethebees and therefore ourselves.
So what can you, as a simple Person, do to help the species survive?
Plant flowers with nectar and pollen, which have different blooming seasons, so that there is enough nectar and pollen all over the year and buy them a little winter house (you get that in most building supply stores) and let those houses face to the south, so that they have it cosy and warm inside.
Most important though is, that you watch out where you buy your food and if GLYPHOSAT is used as a treatment and refuse to buy it, if the answer is yes!