Why Save the Bees?
Honeybees are under a great deal of stress from multiple sources. For more than a decade scientists have been studying a phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), wherein an entire colony of bees dies suddenly due to disease, pesticides, lack of forage-able plants or a combination thereof. CCD has affected hives all over the world, and has caused devastating loss in bee populations. In 2008 alone the U.S. lost 60% of all beehives to CCD. This percentage is declining, but remains an imminent threat to colonies everywhere. Such massive loss of bee populations is highly detrimental to our economy, ecology and well being.
Bees of all kinds are critically important pollinators. They are responsible for pollinating not only natural plants, but also for a significant portion of the foods we eat on a regular basis. It has been calculated by the USDA that one in every three bites of food eaten by the average American was pollinated by bees. Over 70 varieties of fruits and vegetables are reliant on bees for pollination, as well as most herbs, spices, nuts and cattle feed. Without this pollination the plants would not germinate and therefore could not produce crops.
In addition to this expansive list of produce, over 70% of the flowering plants in the U.S. and 1/4th of the world’s flowering plants are dependent on honeybees for their survival. One bee can visit up to 5,000 flowers in a single day and can travel 500 miles in its 6 week lifespan. Given this incredible range, it is not surprising that bees sustain both urban and rural plant life. In fact, because of their massive contributions to human health, the Earthwatch Institute at the 2019 meeting of the Royal Geographical Society of London concluded that bees are "the most important living animal on the planet". Read more about this conclusion here!
People all across the world utilize honey as a sweetener, an antibiotic, and a treatment for local allergies. Every honey producing bee in a colony, which is approximately 50% of the colony or 25,000 bees, can produce 1½ tablespoons of honey in its life. If CCD continues to ravage bee populations the way it has, and without a bolster to their population, we could very well lose access to honey altogether. Even if you personally don’t eat honey, the loss of this food could have serious ramifications for multiple agricultural and food production industries.
Through their contributions to agriculture and food production bees have been estimated to contribute $20 billion to the U.S. economy on an annual basis. Pollinators as a whole have been estimated to contribute $577 billion annually worldwide. As bee populations decline so too does their financial impact, and the world loses out on significant monetary gains while also risking a weakened economy.
You can help combat CCD by investing in hives for your business, thereby stabilizing and even growing local bee populations. When you install hives you can rest assured that you are not only helping your company become more sustainable and engaging for employees, but aiding the economy and contributing to a healthier ecosystem. Contact us today to learn more.
You can also help the bees in your personal life by making small changes to regular activities. If you have a garden, prioritizing native pollinator plants will provide both native bees and honeybees with a new source of food. Changing the way you approach pesticides and herbicides will also have a massive impact on the bees. Avoiding chemicals like Roundup and replacing them with effective homemade recipes will ensure you aren't causing undo harm to beneficial pollinators!