Bees are so important that more than 75 percent of the world's crops depend on pollination by bees.
Bees have been declared the most important living beings on the planet by the Earthwatch Institute (an international environmental charity) at a meeting of the Royal Geographical Society of London. So important that if the bees were to disappear today, mankind would follow suit very soon! According to The Guardian, many species of flowering plants depend on the flying insect for pollination -- at least around 250,000! Out of which many are essential for agriculture. In simpler terms, it means many fruits and vegetables would become scarce without bee populations. And it's not just the food. Cotton is another essential product pollinated by the bees. Even animal food chains would be disrupted as omnivores or carnivores could end up starving. Dr. George McGavin, who was batting for the bees said, "Bee populations are in freefall. A world without bees would be totally catastrophic."
Bored Panda spoke to Dr. McGavin who is an entomologist, academic, and explorer. The expert has dedicated over 25 years to teaching students at Oxford. Many of his students are keenly involved in conservation and insect biology. The rapid global decline in the bee population is a cause of deep concern. “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. There are around 20,000 species of bee (not just honey bees!) and many are solitary species,” elaborated 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.”
Note: give them sugar water, not honey - I wasn't aware before but now I am!— WG Saraband 🏴🇵🇹🏳️🌈 (@wgsaraband) July 21, 2019
Bees are so important that more than 75 percent of the world's crops depend on pollination by bees, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports. If the bees are missing, how do we grow our crops? What do we eat? The FAO has raised the alarm of protecting the bee species to ensure food security. FAO's Director-General José Graziano da Silva said, "We cannot continue to focus on increasing production and productivity based on the widespread use of pesticides and chemicals that are threatening crops and pollinators." Countries need to move towards more pollinator-friendly and sustainable food policies and systems to protect bees. "Each one of us has an individual responsibility towards protecting bees and we should all make pollinator-friendly choices. Even growing flowers at home to feed bees contributes to this effort," Graziano da Silva said.
Even celebrities are coming forward to help save the buzzing insects. One famous "beekeeper" is 83-year-old veteran actor Morgan Freeman. The star has reportedly converted his 124-acre Mississippi ranch into a bee sanctuary. On The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, he talked about why he began beekeeping. "There is a concerted effort for bringing bees back onto the planet…We do not realize that they are the foundation, I think, of the growth of the planet, the vegetation..." Freeman imported 26 beehives from Arkansas to his 124-acre ranch in Mississippi to convert the property into a full-time bee sanctuary. The actor has also been growing magnolia trees and lavender in order to provide a favorable habitat for the insects. If you'd like to do your bit, My Modern Met suggests that "even if you don't have the resources to start a sanctuary, it's easy to leave out a bowl of sugar water on your balcony or garden. The bees and environment will thank you!"
You can also help save the bees here.