Decline Of Bees Podcast Script
by rsmit18 on November 2, 2016 - 8:55pm
Decline of Wild Bee Podcast
What is often viewed as a common annoyance is actually a gift in disguise. The Wild Bee population is declining. That should definitely alarm you because bees perform some vital tasks that benefit us humans. One third of our food sources depend on the bees to pollinate them. One third! For the size of the human race, that is a lot! Without the bee’s pollination, food production would be a giant mess. We would have to start hand pollinating each plant. Not only is hand-pollinating longer and more labor intensive then bee pollination, but it would also cause a financial burden for labor-costs. Farmers also dedicated to farming bees would be unemployed. Some developing countries rely on bee farming as an economic staple.
Another concern with this epidemic is that this is not just one country’s problem. This is a global epidemic. We need a group effort on all sides of the globe to help reduce the risk for bees. So, if the wild bee population is in decline, what is causing it? Though climate change is a factor, the most important cause is the mass use of bee killing pesticides. Farmers spray these harmful pesticides over their crops. Once a bee lands to pollinate that crop it becomes sick and will later die from the pesticides. It is a brutal way to deal with insects, but more importantly is that is completely avoidable. If we moved away from a chemical-intensive style of agriculture, to an eco-friendlier and organic style of agriculture, we could help reduce the risk for bees.
If bees were to go extinct we would in fact have crops that can grow without the pollination of the bee. However according to University of Guelph student Katherine O’hearn these crops would not be nutritionally fit for survival. O’hearn was contacted through email, so that we could have an expert’s thoughts on the matter. O’hearn stated that “While our staple crops like corn, soybeans, and rice do not rely on insect pollination (they instead rely on wind pollination), these would likely need to be fortified to replace some of the nutrients lost or made much more difficult to obtain due to the loss of the species...”
If some of the bees were to survive, but only at a low amount prices of certain items would rise. University of Guelph student Sarah Edmondson commented on the matter saying “Certain items would become more rare, and prices would surge. Foods such as apples, avocados, onions, and different types of berries heavily rely on pollinators.” As less bees pollinate crops the slimmer the selection food becomes. This doesn’t affect just plants and vegetables either. Cows need certain plants to eat. Without those plants the cost of meat would go up making it harder to obtain.
We need bees. Though sometimes they are scary annoying insects, they are always doing their job for us. So, to save our bee friends we need to move away from harsh industrial-styled agriculture, and more towards organic and ecological farming techniques. You can help by spreading the word and help generate a buzz!