The next time you’re outside, take a look around. Notice a lack of bees? You should. Then, ask yourself this question: Are bees going extinct? It’s a troubling question that wasn’t even a blip on the radar for people 30 years ago. Indeed, there used to be a time when bees weren’t in danger. They were just the pesky flying insects that children were scared of, and adults ran away from.
Are Bees Going Extinct?
Make no mistake about it. Bees are going extinct. According to statistics, the United States lost 44 percent of their bee colonies within one year (2015-2016). That's an alarming amount of colonies that have simply vanished. But, with all of this going on, you need to ask yourself why. What effect is their loss going to have on the planet? It's a chilling matter to consider, but it's also crucial for all the residents that share this planet called Earth. It is abundantly clear that we need to begin solving this problem before it is too late.
Now that you know that the answer to the question "are bees going extinct?" is a resounding "yes," you must next begin to ponder what will happen to the planet if bees really do become extinct. There are a lot of things that can happen once the bees disappear. And none of them are good.
What Happens If Bees Go Extinct?
One of the main jobs of bees is to pollinate. Pollination may be a term you have forgotten about over the years, but the concept of pollination is simple enough. For plants to reproduce, they need to spread their pollen to other plants. However, plants can't just walk over and pollinate a nearby plant. That's where the bees come in. They carry the residue from the male part of the plant to the female part of another plant. That's how you get more plants, and that's why bees are so important. Besides being excellent pollinators (pollinating roughly $30 billion worth of crops a year), bees are also responsible for sustaining the food chain. It's a domino effect, and asking if bees are going extinct is becoming more and more critical to the survival of humanity.
What You Can Do
Taking action is an important part of getting anything done. You have to make a change in your own life and take a stand if you want a real, lasting change of any kind. Saving bees is no exception. What exactly can you do to save the bees? The solutions are varied in their approach, but every one of them makes a positive impact on the bee community.
Buy Local Honey
You may be wondering why this is important. Does it have something to do with the popularity of honey driving a market for the product? No. In fact, it works in direct opposition to big chain honey. When you decide to buy local (no matter what it is you’re buying), you’re choosing to invest in the local economy. You’re letting these local beekeepers know that they are important and that you are supporting them. Not only does this improve your local economy, but buying local honey means that you can rest easy knowing that the honey you purchased isn’t filled with chemicals and pesticides. It’s hard to find honey sold in huge chain stores that isn’t tainted with chemicals. Buying the local supply means you’re connecting directly with the source. It’s a quality product that shouldn’t be disregarded.
Let Your Weeds Grow
It’s tempting to thrash your weeds when you see them. They’re taking up a bunch of room on your lawn, they’re probably running rampant, and they are an eyesore. But, think before you get rid of them. Weeds serve a practical purpose for bees. One of the main reasons weeds are fantastic for bees is that the weeds act as a sort of haven and home for the bees. When you let weeds grow, some flowers will inevitably bloom within them. In turn, these flowers can be used for pollination for the bees. The bees can spread the seeds to other flowers and plants, and before you know it, you’ve helped grow a bee population! In doing so, you can rest easy knowing that you are helping to change the answer to the question “are bees going extinct?” to a no rather than a yes. It’s also important to keep in mind that you shouldn’t whack any of the weeds until you know for sure that you’re getting rid of them. Let the bees go through with their pollination and let the flowers bloom. Once the weeds are used, then it’s perfectly acceptable for you to get rid of them. Just give the bees a chance to pollinate first.
Learn and Respect how Bees Operate
It’s so easy to write off and dismiss something you don’t understand. After all, it’s human nature to be wary of something that boggles your mind. But, if you educate yourself about bees, you can learn about their lives and their way of life. Understanding how they operate is an excellent way to help them. Once you learn about the diminishing bee population and all of the good that they do for the world, it’s easy to take all of the other actions. Motivation is a potent factor, and learning about bees can turn your perception around and make you an advocate of these great creatures.
Plant Bee-Friendly Flowers
If you want to truly attract bees to your lawn and help them thrive in an environment in which they would struggle, then planting bee-friendly plants and flowers is a great way to go. A bee’s home is how it continues to live, and their homes and colonies are disappearing at an alarming rate. With this in mind, make your lawn a beautiful paradise for bees. Some of the flowers you can plant that will attract bees and make them happy include sage, tomatoes, pumpkins, and honeysuckle. There’s plenty more you can plant, and do a little bit of research about these flowers and plants will help you gain respect for the bees.
Keep Fresh Water Outside your Home
It sounds odd, right? What could bees and fresh water have in common? Well, you’d be surprised at just what a bowl of clean water can do for a bee. Just like any other creature, bees need to bathe. Water is the easiest way you can do this. And it doesn’t take a ton of effort on your part, either. All you need to do is pour some water into a bowl and set it out near your flowers. The bees will find their way to it, and you might even find it sort of endearing when you’re watching a small bee take a bath. Regardless, keeping the bees coming back to your place is a great idea. It gives them a place of comfort, and they are less likely to die off.
Leave some Open Ground
You may not want to do this directly near your house, but leaving a patch of bare ground in your backyard is a great way to get bees to flock to your yard. Bees hibernate, and they do so underground. Sometimes, it's difficult for these bees to find a sustainable place to hibernate. If they find your ground, this gives them the perfect place to sleep and grow. Just be aware that they're there.
Are Bees Going Extinct? Yes, And It's Time To Take Action
Are bees going extinct? Yes, and now is the time to step up and help out the bees. They've done so much for the planet, and now they're in mortal danger. With colonies vanishing at extremely high and speedy rates, it's up to you to take the reigns and help them out. Plant some flowers. Buy local honey. Whatever you do, make sure you do it with passion. And remember to spread the knowledge you've learned. The spread of knowledge and information gets the word out and makes the crisis well known.