Updated: Nov 11, 2019
Image Credit: Farm Meets Table
Earthwatch Institute, an international environmental charity, officially recognized bees as the most important creatures on the planet. Unfortunately, many species of pollinators are at risk of extinction. The results of research carried out in recent years are alarming - it is estimated that up to 90% of bees are extinct.
Bees have been recognized by scientists as the most important creatures on Earth.
Although the title is symbolic, it may draw more attention to the problem of their massive extinction in wider circles.
Estimates and hypotheses suggest that destruction of their habitats, deforestation, lack of nesting space, lack of flowers, poorer food availability, changes in soil quality and, above all, pesticides, - are the main causes contributing to the extinction of these insects.
Recent declarations by scientists from the Earthwatch Institute regarding the importance of insects are nothing new, because Albert Einstein has already seen the links between the life of bees and human life.
“If the bees disappear, humans would have 4 years to live.”
- Albert Einstein
The importance of bees for humans, the environment and the economy will never be overestimated.
According to the Greenpeace organization, bees are involved in the production of 60-90% of food consumed by humans. This means that every third spoon of the food we eat depends on the pollination process, and in Europe alone, over 4,000 vegetable varieties depend on insect pollination. As the population of these insects decreases, the Earth's biodiversity is decreasing, and this can cause a negative, as well as drastic, domino effect.
Dr. McGavin, an entomologist who has devoted 25 years of teaching students at Oxford University, emphasizes the importance of bees in the global ecosystem.
“The critical symbiosis between insects, especially bees, and flowering plants has created a rich diversity of life on Earth. The origin of bees coincides with the main radiation of the angiosperms approximately 100 million years ago.”
Image Credit: ALAMY
“There are around 20,000 species of bee (not just honey bees!) and many are solitary species,” elaborates Dr. McGavin. “Bees are essential to our survival—without the world’s bees, we would have to change our eating habits dramatically. No flowers, no fruits, no vegetables.”
Another theory proposed by The Federal Institute of Technology of Switzerland, blames the waves produced by cell phones. The study shows that radiofrequency radiation (radio waves) emitted during calls are capable of disorienting bees. The researcher and biologist Daniel Favre, along with other researchers, performed several experiments showing the potential effects on the bees’ (apis mellifera carnica) behavior in the presence of electromagnetic waves, revealing that the waves have a dramatic impact, namely by producing a noise ten times higher than usual, a behavior that has been observed to be an announcement of evacuation of the hive.
Another significant reason for the disappearance of bees is undoubtedly also attributed to the consistent fumigation of field crops, which is a key catalyst behind this disturbing phenomenon, both because of their direct toxicity to bees and their indirect and cascading effects.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
However, you do not have to be a beekeeper to protect bees! By planting melliferous plants in your own garden or just on the balcony, you will automatically contribute to the protection of the natural flora and fauna of our environment, which guarantees life on Earth, and thus also contribute to the improvement of our climate. Such a small thing can make a huge difference.
The more plants, the greater the chance that bees (wild and domesticated) will collect the right amount of food for the winter, and you will have herbs, fruits or beautifully flowering plants. And where there are bees, there are other useful pollinating insects, including beautiful butterflies.
The choice of melliferous crops is huge, from herbs to raspberries to ornamental shrubs and trees, so everyone can help bees.
Without bees, it would not only be an ecological disaster for the world - food production would collapse. What would happen to pollination? How could it be done? Manual pollination is extremely expensive, slow and requires a lot of work. The global economic value of bee pollination has been set at 265 million euros per year.
So even from the economical point of view alone, it pays to protect bees!