Posted on Feb 01, 2010 | Comments 0
Bees are a very important component in our ecosystem. They also play a very big role in how the ecosystem functions. I don’t think any of us realize just how important these insects are in our lives.
Bees are also important in agriculture as they are crop pollinators. With bees playing this big of a part in our lives, have you ever even realized that they are about to disappear? To be honest, I didn’t either.
This is largely due to the pesticides that are being used mostly in agricultural settings. There is a group of pesticides called neonicotinoids. This systemic chemical is used to kill off unwanted insects by seeping into the cell of the plant. It was concluded after a study that this chemical gets into a bees nervous system, ultimately leading to its demise.
There is a way to still use a pesticide if it is needed, and not harm the bee population. Bees typically only will visit a plant during the blossom stage. If you do need to apply a pesticide, waiting until after this period will help keep our little friends around.
It is quite obvious that the environment we live in is changing. There is a lot of talk about global warming, and we have all seen signs of this no matter where we live. If the bees did begin to disappear, we would have to rely on other insects to spread pollen on the blossoms.
Eventually, the pollen process would begin to slow down and we would see certain wild flowers disappear as well as some of our plants and flowers that produce our fruits and vegetables.
We would have to adapt to losing out on some of these wonderful things that we take for granted. This is something that we don’t even realize.
There is a mysterious syndrome called Colony Collapse Disorder. This disorder can cause a whole entire colony to crash in just a matter of weeks.
The adult bees will leave the hive and not return until it has been completely deserted. Losses like this can be absolutely devastating for beekeepers.
Crops that are pollinated by bees make up for thirty five percent of the calorie intake by humans every year. Annual sales in the agricultural world are between one and three trillion dollars. With the honeybee pollinating over one third of the food that we eat, this insect is by far one of most beneficial insects we have.
Now, hopefully you are thinking the same thing I am. What can I do to help? I’m glad you asked! There are a few steps that we can take to try to save these little insects. Plant a little garden outside of your home, or even a few flowers. You will eventually see the bees coming to pollinate the blossoms.
Again, don’t use a pesticide until after the blossoms have come and the bees have already pollinated. Another very simple thing you can do is to keep some water outside. Maybe a little hummingbird feeder, or a bird bath because bees enjoy drinking from this water.
Last but not least, if you really feel like you want to be superman or woman, and save the bees, become a beekeeper! What a way to get involved!
If there is one thing I hope we all have learned here is that we can make a difference if we all just pitch in. If we don’t make an effort to save the bees, we could end up being the ones that go extinct!
Filed Under: Editorials