Save the Bees please!
March 30, 2017
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has marked the bumblebee as an endangered species. Due to the abundance of pesticides and the decrease in habitats, bees have been rapidly disappearing from the Eastern and Midwestern United States.
According to the Federal Register, bees were found in 31 states and some Canadian provinces in the late 1990s. However, in 2000, they have only been found in 13 states and Ontario, Canada. That’s a short amount of time for a species to decrease that rapidly. This means that bees are at a serious risk of becoming extinct. Canada, ahead of the U.S., realized this fact and added the insect to their endangered species list in 2012.
The rusty patched bumblebee is the main species that is endangered. This bumblebee is one of the first to come out early in the spring and the last to go into hibernation. For the bee to stay healthy, there must be a flourish in flowers during these time periods, which is not always possible.
Many may think that bees aren’t that important to the world. But these little insects do much more for us than give us delicious honey and the occasional sting. Bees pollinate over $15 million in crops each year. That includes the plants that bear apples, almonds, cantaloupes, alfalfa, and many other crops, as well as cotton. It has been estimated that, without bees, it would globally cost us about $5.7 billion per year. Marla Spivak, an entomologist says “We need good, clean food, and so do our pollinators. If bees do not have enough to eat, we won’t have enough to eat.”
However, the University of Hawaii says “Bees have managed to persist with amazing tenacity.” While the rusty patched bumblebee may be endangered, there are many new species of bees discovered all the time. Just in the past 15 years, 11 new bee species have been located.
There are a handful of things that individuals can do to help maintain and increase the current bee population.Gregory Koob, from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, says that bees being on the endangered list “will allow authorities to implement recovery programs, access funding, and limit their harm from outside sources.”
If you have a garden, practice organic gardening and plant bee-friendly flowers and greenery. Bee-killing chemicals are found in mass industrial gardens and a safe way to ensure you avoid these insecticides is to use organic insect repellents in home gardens. Another creative, but more time consuming, way to protect bees is to become a beekeeper! If you aren’t ready for such a commitment, but still want to make an impact, there is always the option to adopt a hive. For an annual fee, you can support your local beekeepers and in return, receive gifts of local honey.
The last way to offer help to this current ordeal, no matter what age, is to become more educated on the subject. Even if you can’t become a beekeeper, adopt a hive, or have a garden, you can always learn about other ways to help, volunteer, and learn more about the matter.
Bumblebees affect the clothes you wear and the foods you eat. Although they may be pests at times, without them, our economy wouldn’t survive and neither would we.