Welcome to another Monday Matters round and today’s topic is bee mortality.
I love Bees! Bees are multi-talented, they are architects, collectors, mine-finders (!) and so much more. They are important for mother nature and every single animal on this planet, yes they are important for us. About 30 percent of the world’s crops and approximately 90 percent of wild plants depend on bee pollination, so without bees plenty of fruits and vegetables like apples, melons, broccoli, etc., would disappear out of our supermarkets and for all of you who still eat meat (for whatever reason), you won’t be able to enjoy as much steaks as you used to now and also it will taste differently!
You already see bee mortality will affect us enormously, but what does it actually mean? Well, first of all, bee mortality is not a term to describe the death of a few single bees, it describes the phenomenon of whole colonies dying off, thousands and thousands of colonies. Not all of the reasons for the disappearing colonies are discovered yet, but one huge problem is, of course, the climate change. Why? Climate Change, as I guess all of you know, has a lot to do with carbon dioxide which of course also has a negative impact on the health of bees. Also, because of the climate change the periods in which flowers grow have changed, partly expanded as well as shortened or simply just started earlier in the year.
Agriculture is the next big aspect influencing bees: Nowadays, most of the fields are monocultures but this is a great problem for bees because the insects need different plants to survive and strengthen their colonies. A second agricultural issue is the tremendous number of different pesticides and insecticides used by farmers all over the world. Insecticides are to bees what cigarettes are to us, I’m talking about the bad affects! These substances influence the bees’ nervous system and of course their honey and as a result also their bee-babies. The EU started to prohibit different substances but there are so many that are still allowed and in different parts of the world governments care even less about eco-friendly agriculture.
Over the last century bees lost more and more of their habitat to us humans because cities minimize natural, wild areas and therefore the amount of plants. In gardens most people plant cultured flowers but bees prefer wild flowers and as many different kinds as possible.
Another big reason for the death of millions of bees are parasites like the varroa mites. Years ago, these mites weren’t a real problem but through the reasons above bees got weaker and weaker and therefore easier to attack. Varroa mites are able to kill whole colonies!!
The mortality of bees has ecological and economical consequences and we need to stop it now! You might ask your self what can I do? Well here are just a few things which are easy to do and incorporate into your life. If you live in Bavaria, please support the petition “Artenvielfalt” for a referendum, that’s still possible until this Wednesday!! All the following ideas and tips are for all of you, wherever you live: build bee hotels (here’s a video), plant different flowers, those which are typical for your area like wildflowers e.g. lavender, just do some research on which plants are the best for the your region (Sometimes there are special bee-seeds-mixtures in garden centres). Support projects protecting bees with donations or any other way you like (take part!). Of course, living more conscious and eco-friendlier will benefit not only bees but also our environment. Support farmers using bee-friendly substances and of course wiser political decisions must be made in future!
To all the bees I loved before 😊
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