World Environment Day will be celebrated on June 5th to raise awareness towards various environmental issues such as air pollution, global warming, deforestation and biodiversity loss.
When talking about protecting the environment, one cannot help but dwell on the importance of pollinating insects par excellence: bees!
Their role within the ecosystem is fundamental: just think that 70% of the world’s agriculture depends on the pollination carried out by bees; therefore, without them, the plants pollinated by them and the related food products consumed by humans would no longer exist.
At the latest meeting of the Royal Geographical Society of London, the Earthwatch Institute declared bees as the most important living beings for several reasons:
- The first is the one mentioned above, which relates to their fundamental role within the food chain; in fact, bees, by pollinating plants and flowers, contribute in a completely natural way to their reproduction, giving humans the opportunity to increase agricultural yields through efficient use of such pollination services;
- A second reason is related to the fact that bees are the only living being that does not transmit any kind of diseases or viruses;
- Finally, the third reason is the worrying situation of the bee population, which is rapidly disappearing (various researches have estimated that nearly 90% of bees have disappeared in recent years).
One of the main antagonists of bees is the uncontrolled use of pesticides, which are highly harmful to bees and with which they come into contact when collecting pollen from flowers and plants on which these chemicals have been used. What is certain is that the decline of bees is not caused solely by the intensive use of pesticides, but also by other human practices that lead to the destruction of natural habitats, such as deforestation and the transformation of fields, forests and meadows into building areas. Global warming, a very harmful issue for biodiversity, also has a highly detrimental impact on the survival of bees: in fact, the increase in temperature leads the flowers to change color to adapt and protect themselves from the new temperatures, and therefore bees are no longer able to recognize and pollinate them.
Another plague affecting the world of bees is that of the various diseases that attack them, first and foremost the Varroa mite that weakens bees to the point of eliminating an entire colony of bees.
Various solutions can be put in place to protect the environment and bees:
- In agriculture, the most harmful pesticides should be eliminated or at least their use should be limited, and an ecological type of agriculture should be developed (thus giving up monoculture in favor of diversification).
- At the same time, each of us can do simple actions that are nonetheless important for the protection of bees and the environment: the first thing we can do is to plant seeds of bee-friendly flowers and plants, just by having a small garden or even just a balcony.
- Another choice that protects the environment is to grow and eat organic and environmentally friendly products in which pesticides and herbicides are not used.
- Another gesture for the protection of bees (and other valuable pollinating insects) is to create shelters for them in our gardens, such as wooden nests or beehives. Finally, Beeing gives the opportunity to “adopt” a hive, thus supporting the work of beekeepers throughout Italy.
In conclusion, we can say with certainty that the disappearance of bees would lead to disastrous consequences for humans. This is why it is essential to act now in favor of the repopulation of these insects, even simply by joining the various initiatives promoted by beekeepers, environmental protection associations and companies such as Beeing!