The bees are in trouble. Not just Honeybee’s, who make the sweet goo that goes wonderfully on a piece of buttered toast, but all bee populations have been declining steadily over the last few years. We, and by “we” I mean the human race, are primarily to blame. Insecticides, pollution, global warming, and monocrop farms are all causes of their population decline.
You might find yourself asking; “well, why should I care? I’m terrified of bees”. However, if this decline were to continue, and eventually lead to an extinction event, it actually causes a big problem for us. Like other insects, bees are pollinators, meaning they take pollen from one plant to another, for fertilisation. This isn’t an intentional process, they are coming to the flowers for nectar, and when they land, pollen sticks to their feet. The bees carry that pollen and spread it to the next flower. In Australia, 65% of agricultural production relies on bees for pollination.
Not only will we have no honey to eat if bees become extinct, we’ll also have less fruit and veggies. A few crops that rely heavily on bees include almonds, mangos, pumpkins, blueberries, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, and most importantly, avocados! What would our world be without avos! I couldn’t think of anything worse!
If that isn’t enough for you to help them out, then this might: there are other chain reactions caused by the absence of bees. For example, if bees become extinct, there will be a shortage of fruit and vegetables, possibly leading to higher meat consumption, and therefore more greenhouse gasses being emitted from the beef and dairy industry, speeding up the process of Global Warming. It’s obviously not as simple as that, and there are many other factors at play here, and to explain that would take a whole series of blog posts!
Now you know why they are so important, here’s how you can help.
If you have a veggie garden, cut out the herbicides and pesticides!
These chemicals aren’t great for us either, so if you’re having trouble with pests, try a natural alternative before reaching for the pesticides
Buy local and raw honey!
You should be able to find a variety at your local markets, but they are a little more expensive than regular Coles brand honey. My favourite is Bee On Third, which comes from beehives around Brisbane.
Plant bee friendly flowers in your garden.
You can buy little bee seed bombs here, which are seeds compressed into a ball of nutrient rich soil, that you just throw in your garden, and the rain will take care of the rest!
You can buy or make a bee house!
Manage your own beehive without the pain (literally).
If you really love bees, there’s an option to buy stingless bees, and have a beehive in your backyard. Not only will you get beautiful fresh honey, you’ll be lending a hand to the bee population!
It always seems like we find out about problems such as this, when it’s too late. With your help, (even just being aware of the issue is better than nothing) these little guys could live happily ever after!