Although humans haven’t entirely understood how necessary nature is, we at least do some work in some parts. But everything isn’t lost. Because mother nature has given us more important insects such as ladybugs, butterflies, and most importantly, bees. Yes, even though you get occupational bee sting once in a while, bees outweigh your discomfort of its protection because they play a huge part in our ecosystem.
At the last meeting of the Royal Geographical Society of London, the Earthwatch Institute concluded that bees are the most vital living being on the earth.
According to scientists bees became the single most valuable animal in the world. It is so vital that if the bee population goes south, humanity is at stake. Some even claim that if they go extinct, humanity would be next. So with the dramatic decline in the bee population, should we be worried?
What happens if the bees all die?
Simply, if a plant produces a flower, you can bet that bees help them reproduce. This long-standing, working relationship evolved with flowers being bright and fragrant to attract bees. And also bees, fuzzy, velcro-like bodies helping them to efficiently transfer pollen from the male plant of plant to the female part.
This seemingly simple mechanism is directly responsible for the production of 70% of fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts that we consume on a daily basis. That means almost $200 billion in global agriculture revenue. So this huge responsibility is accomplished by droves of commercial bees, reared by professional beekeepers for the sole purpose of being transported to farms and orchards to pollinate crops.
But since 2006, these hard-working busy bees have been mysteriously disappearing. This colony collapse disorder has been an average of 1/3rd of commercial bees abandoning their hives. In fact, some beekeepers have reported that 90% of their bees have simply buzzed off.
In some colonies, mites, viruses, and parasites have been to blame, but many are now looking at a class of insecticides called neonicotinoids. It is a neurotoxin that is used to kill off crop-eating insects and pests, but also affects the central nervous system of bees when they consume contaminated nectar. Since nectar is brought back to hives, the entire colony can be affected, leading to mass confusion and disorientation.
On top of this, other factors such as extremely cold and long winters, lack of genetic diversity in commercial bees, and less variable nectar in the fields may be at fault. If the trend continues, entire food chains and webs may be at risk.
For example, take almond plants, the hulls of these nuts are used as feed for farm cattle and chickens. Fewer bees mean fewer almonds, which could mean declining livestock, and ultimately less milk, cheese, eggs, and meat production. Almonds are also used in cereal, baking, and many other food products.
Beef and dairy cows world is also harshly affected by the vanishing of alfa fields which are used to harvest hay for cattle.
Bees pollinate Coffee arabica, whose seeds we grind for coffee, you can count that out. Without bees, our diet would consist of mostly corn, wheat, and rice, as they were wind-pollinated plants.
Cotton is the biggest cash crop in the US. It also makes up about 35% of the world’s fiber use. So you can forget those blue jeans, towels, mattresses and high-quality paper products.
Simply put we’d be living in a completely different world without bees. Not to mention, suffering a substantial economic strain from the disappearance of bees. So while we may not necessarily go extinct, should the downward trend persist, a world without the buzz of the bees would definitely become extinct.