If everyone knew how crucial bees are to our existence, the world would go into mania wrapping these little creatures in bubble wrap and tending to their every need. Bees are not only vital to the natural world but also affect our everyday, modern life. There has been a lot of hype over saving bees in the last few years. In truth, there has been a lot of hype about various things swarming in social media. Some are melodramatic and others are absolutely significant and important. Australian Pollinator Week has given The Top Coins an excuse to dive into the hexagonal world of bees, learning that the hype around saving them is actually not loud enough!
We’ve all heard the phrase “without bees, humans would not survive”. Humans can’t survive without a lot of things so it’s understandable why that huge statement might go in one ear and out the other. The truth is, we should all be screaming it from the rooftops! The likelihood of bees going extinct might not be so futuristic. It was a theatrical statement after all. We don't want to admit it but humans absolutely rely on these 5cm insects.
Cotton: Chances are, what you’re wearing right this second is made from cotton. Did you know farmers rely on bees to pollinate cotton flowers therefore helping create the literal clothes on your back? Clothes aren’t the only thing made from cotton.. It would be very hard to get ready for work in the morning having to air dry with the lack of cotton towels. Ouch that stings!
Food: Have you ever thought about how incredible a blueberry tastes? An apple, an almond, a cucumber and or a pumpkin? Bee’s play a vital role in getting fruit, vegetables, seeds and nuts (70% to be precise) onto your plate everyday. Can you even imagine a world without fruit and vegetables? Our taste buds would be deprived not to mention our bodies would suffer tremendously without all the minerals and vitamins our bodies need. Maybe you’re not a big fresh produce kind of person so that doesn’t seem like a big enough deal to take action. What about the most popular drink: Coffee? Without bees, there’s no coffee and the animal agricultural industry (producing meat and dairy) would also be negatively affected. In short, unless you’re happy to rely on corn, wheat and rice (wind pollinated plants) it’s time to take action!
Ecosystem: Don’t forget about all other animals and plants! Bees not only pollinate food for us but they feed other animals too! Even our beloved pets need more than corn to survive. Most flowers and trees are dependent on pollination to reproduce too. To make things more crystal clear, trees create oxygen. For the people in the back, humans need oxygen and food to survive. Bees are at the forefront of both of those things!
Why are bees dying?
Okay, now that I have your attention this is what you need to know. Billions of bees are dying each year because of a multitude of reasons including climate change, habitat destruction, diseases and the most damaging right now: harmful pesticides. In Australia, Neonicotinoids and Fipronil are the major factor in bee deaths associated with pesticides.
2. Eat organic: Support farmers that are friendly to our bees! Most pesticides and agricultural chemicals are dangerous to bees and other pollinators. Vote with your dollar and buy organic and pesticide free crops as much as possible. Farmers markets are the way to go!
3. Create a bee bath: Bees work up a thirst ensuring the survival of most flora and fauna! Fill a shallow bird bath or bowl with clean water, and arrange pebbles and stones inside so that they break the water’s surface. Bees will land on the stones and pebbles to take a long, refreshing drink.
4. Create a bee hotel: habitat destruction is evicting native bees out of their homes. Create a bee hotel in your garden to promote the population and reproduction of bees.
Bees help create the world we live in and humans are ironically destroying theirs. It's about time we all spoke up and actively made a stand to protect our bees. How are you going to show up for these little warriors?