Why Bees Are Disappearing
Honey bees are one of the great nurturers of life and fertility. They are our most important pollinators for fruits, vegetables, flowers, and crops like alfalfa hay that feeds our farm animals. More than 1/3 of the world’s crop production is dependent upon bee pollination. The ironic thing is that bees pollinating our food is not necessarily intentional. They are also out there doing what they do because they need to eat. They’re flower feeders, and as they move from flower to flower, they end up providing this valuable pollination service. The relationship between bees and flowers is one of the most beautiful co-evolutionary relationships we have.
There are other reasons we appreciate the bees.
Humans have had an attraction with bees since early recorded times, mostly for harvesting their delicious honey and precious beeswax. They are also revered for their highly evolved social behavior. Honey bees have remarkable defenses that have kept them healthy and striving for over 50,000,000 years. So with the reports of honey bee colonies dying in masses, this has raised great concern that something is wrong. Bees are dying from multiple causes such as monocultures, pesticides, diseases, and parasites. The outcome of bees dying reflects a flowerless landscape and a dysfunctional food system.
How can we help the bees?
It turns out it’s hopeful! Every one of us can help in two simple ways: 1) plant bee-friendly flowers 2) don’t contaminate this bee food with pesticides. Go online and do a search for flowers that are native to your area. We need a beautiful diversity of flowers that bloom over the entire season, from spring to fall. Not just for the bees, but for the migrating butterflies, birds, and other wild life.