The bee population is declining in the northern hemisphere, as is the population of other insect pollinators.
Bees are currently threatened for a number of reasons ranging from different factors such as plant pollution, GMOs and their effects on biodiversity, and ultimately global warming.
Although we think of bees as our sole producer of honey, the term “bee” is actually an umbrella term designated to more than 20,000 different species. Contrary to what one might think, the majority of them do not produce this delicious nectar.
Similarly, they do not all live in societies, some bees are solitary, others live as parasites. But they all hold a crucial role in the pollination of plants and therefore they indirectly cause fruits to grow.
Bees Going Extinct: A Crisis of Unfathomable Consequences
The disappearance of the main pollinators would have serious environmental consequences, but there would also be economic and social consequences. Indeed, these pollinators are responsible for 75% of the yield of major crops, as well as 35% of the world production of vegetarian food. These are just a few numbers from the plethora of studies available on this subject.
Lower crop yields caused by shortage of bees causing a weakness of plant species due to lack of cross pollination, would mean higher prices of these fruits and crops concerned. The magnitude of the impact is difficult to imagine today.
The majority of fruit grown in Europe, more precisely 84%, according to a survey by INRA, are dependent on insects. For example avocados, tomatoes, melons, and raspberries, as well as nuts, cocoa, coffee and almonds all are dependent on bees. In contrast, pollination of blueberries, quince, figs, and oranges is carried by wind and water.
It is the same story among the vegetables, yield of eggplant, leeks, radishes and pumpkins are dependent on bees, while green beans, carrots, potatoes and peppers can survive without them.
As for herbs, almost all of them will cease to exist without bees: this includes mint, vanilla, lavender and parsley. Cereals, buckwheat, canola and sunflower will perish, while rice, wheat and maize on the contrary would survive in a world without bees.
The bee is called an bio-indicator animal, because of its role in pollination and its sensitivity to changes in the environment.
If the bee as a species becomes endangered, our planet will face increased risk. Without them our plates will be empty, so we must fully realize the importance of these animals: without them, the world would not be the same.
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