Bee_-_Mums_Garden_July_2009_(3712654879)

Cliona Elliott,

Correspondent (Our World)

 

Honey bees: the yellow and black furry creatures are widely considered as a nuisance for the fear that they may sting you, but in reality without bees and their role as nature’s own farmers, nature would struggle to function. Bees account for 80 oer cent of all insect pollination, and without them we would see a significant decrease in the yield of fruits and vegetables; in fact one in every three mouthfuls of the food we eat is dependent on pollination. However, there is a major crisis among the world’s honey bee population, which means it’s a major problem for us all.

In 2006, beekeepers started to notice a rapid decline in honeybee nest colonies, and it seemed that thousands of bees were disappearing without a trace. Since then, more than 30 per cent of nests have been disappearing each year. This rapid collapse of nest colonies is known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). It is thought that the ever-increasing use of pesticides and insecticides such as neonicotinoid largely contributes to CCD, in addition to the influx of the varroa mite and the spread of diseases and viruses. Moreover, the demise of bee population is evoking many questions and issues mainly regarding international food supply and farmers’ economical strains.

Looking at the produce in the supermarkets, you wouldn’t link their existence to honey bees. Not only do they produce honey but also pollinate more than 100 crops and without them we would have a worrying 50 per cent less fruit and vegetables. It would also mean that foods we enjoy every day such as apples, carrots, lemons and onions would become a luxury of the past. From an economical point of view, honeybees accumulate $30 billion a year in crops, and their decreasing population could cause a significant dent in the agricultural economy.

The earth needs bees. We may not notice their hard work, but if they weren’t there, we would definitely notice how much influence and control they have over our crops and food. Just like they protect the growth and future of our crops, we need to protect honeybees by stopping the rapid demise of bee colonies.

To find out more information and support this important cause, visit: http://www.change.org/petitions/epa-save-our-bees-and-the-food-we-eat-ban-bayer-s-chemicals-now

 

Image Courtesy: Airwolfhound from Hertfordshire, UK, Released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license | Wiki Commons

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Cliona is the editor of Food and also a contributor for Our World and Travel at the Global Panorama. She is currently a student of English literature and language at Cardiff University, United Kingdom. Cliona’s main interest is learning about the many fascinating cultures of the world, and she is also very passionate about issues concerning human and animal welfare.

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