Is there anybody in this world who doesn’t know what bees are? We highly doubt it. The classic and famous black-and-yellow-striped insect has constantly been in Science textbooks — at an early age, we already know that they’re our source of honey. Though they have painful stings, they’re not something that pest control services consider a serious threat. Bees are not pets — but they’re not exactly pests, either.
However, the number of bees has decreased over the years because of urban and industrial developments that have threatened their way of life. The destruction of their natural habitats and use of pesticides can also be blamed. We may not be aware of it, but we are losing bees at a much more alarming rate than we can imagine.
Though they are widely popular, have you ever wondered what life would be like without bees? Will the Earth still be a good place to live in if all of these creatures would disappear? Read on to find out.
Bees have a special role to play in the ecosystem. They are responsible for 90% of the pollination of crops that feed the whole world. Bees are critical pollinators—the entire food chain will be so messed up if they go extinct. Human population will be very hard to sustain because food will be scarce. Examples of the plants and trees that bees pollinate are apples, coffee, eggplants, cashews, mangoes, onions, avocados, grapes, cucumbers, okra, strawberries, blueberries, and watermelon, among many others. Agriculture will collapse—the supply of fruits and vegetables will be cut down to less than half. Bees must have access to enough food, or we will not have food.
Aside from adding a yummy hint of sweetness to food, honey is also beneficial to our health. It helps fight off infection and promotes healing of wounds and is rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. In case you missed it, there is only one creature in the world that can produce honey — bees. With the destruction of beehives, the production of honey is gravely affected. A lot of beekeepers will lose profit if this problem remains unsolved. The honey exportation industry will not flourish anymore if bees will not be taken care of, thus taking away the livelihood of many.
It is not known to many that bees also pollinate cotton, which is the most widely used material in making clothes. Without busy bees, humans would have to rely on man-made fabrics which could drastically deplete various resources. So the next time you strike a pose for your #OOTD, spare a moment to thank the bees.
People usually scamper away when there is a bee in sight, because their stings can be life-threatening if one is allergic to its venom. However, technology has stepped in and put bee venom to good use—medicines. Moreover, Morphine, a prescription drug which is used to relieve extreme pain, is extracted from opium poppies that are pollinated by bees. Though they can self-pollinate, cross-pollinated ones have shown more potential for medicine production and the pharmaceutical industry as a whole.
Bees may be little, but they are a very important link to the cycle of life on this planet. We have a little or no chance at all of surviving if all bees in the world die. They are vital for life and environment sustenance so we should all make conscious efforts to keep them from going extinct. Let’s try our best to refrain from doing activities which could harm the ecosystem. The hardworking bees of this world don’t deserve to suffer from an early demise; if they do, we will also risk losing our lives.