Imagine if chocolates didn't exist. Or apples. Or both. A horror imagination, right? Without bees, this would almost certainly be the case because these foods are dependent on the furry insects for their continued existence. 

Bees have a lot of cultural and environmental significance as pollinators and as a source of honey and numerous medicinal products. As pollinators, bees contribute to food security and agricultural production. Both farmed and wild bees promote the growth and quality of vegetation - when they are in good health, crops thrive too.

Did you know? One in every three spoonfuls of food eaten globally depends on bees - as bees are responsible for pollinating them. There are 100 species of crops that produce 90% of consumed food globally and 71 of these species depends on bees for pollination. 

Bees do so much for us than for themselves but because we're not aware, we don't appreciate them enough. A bee needs to perch on 4 million flowers and travel a distance equal to flying 4 times around the world, just to produce 1kg of honey. 

Bees are very essential for the health of people, and the planet at large. Research has it that bees and bee-related products have antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties. Despite their significance, bees are increasingly endangered and it’s becoming difficult for them to thrive. If bees don’t continue to thrive, human well-being, sustainable agriculture, and the ecosystem will suffer.

The extinction of bees is adversely high due to human impact. Farming practices, like the use of pesticides, mono-cropping, land-use change, and urbanization are major factors in the increasing decline of bees and collective action must be taken at this point more than ever to protect these species (extinction rates are 100 to 1000 times higher due to human impact). Apart from human activities, parasites, climate change, pests and air pollution are also factors that affect the diversity of bees. On May 17, the General Court of the European Union took a step in conserving bees by upholding a ban on three kinds of insecticides called neonicotinoids, which affect the insect. 

It is not farfetched to say there is no life without bees. For the ecosystem to thrive, bees must thrive too. We need to "Bee" engaged and build better back for Bees. How can we do this? 

As an individual:

1. You could maintain a small garden of diverse sets of flowers to support the ecosystem.

2. Avoiding the use of pesticides in our gardens.

3. Buy products from sustainable agriculture practices.

4. Raise awareness by sharing this post, and educating more people as much as possible.

As farmers by:

1. Reducing the use of pesticides.

2. Diversifying crops and planting more attractive crops.

As a decision-maker by:

1. Enforcing strategic measures to implement change.

2. Sensitizing communities at large on the need.

The decline of bees affects us all, it is a crucial challenge and we can’t fold our arms and watch. 

Will you play your part in ensuring the continued existence of bees?

Adeola Olalere

Post a Comment