Just how important are honeybees to the human diet? Typically, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, these under-appreciated workers pollinate 80 percent of our flowering crops which constitute 1/3 of everything we eat. Losing them could affect not only dietary staples such as apples, broccoli, strawberries, nuts, asparagus, blueberries and cucumbers, but may threaten our beef and dairy industries if alfalfa is not available for feed. One Cornell University study estimated that honeybees annually pollinate $14 billion worth of seeds and crops in the U.S. Essentially, if honeybees disappear, they could take most of our insect pollinated plants with them, potentially reducing mankind to little more than a water diet.
by Alex Pietrowski
With all of the immediate problems facing people these days, it is difficult to be concerned and proactive about the looming environmental crises that will affect us in big ways in the not-too-distant future. After all, who has time to do anything about radiation in the Pacific Ocean when there is still fish in the markets and you cant find a job to pay the bills?
One of the greatest coming ecological catastrophes for the human race is the global collapse of many bee species which are largely responsible for pollinating our food crops as well as wild plants.
Without bees, human kind will suffer a terrible famine, and in some areas bees have already lost up to 90% of their colonies. Many scientists have linked the collapse of bee colonies to the overuse of a cocktail of varied herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides used in modern agriculture and modern landscaping, …
Humans' intense agricultural practices have greatly affected the pollination practices of bees within the United States. The increased use of pesticides, the reduction in the number of wild colonies and the increased value of both bees and pollinated crops have all added to the importance of protecting bees from pesticides. Furthermore, many homeowners believe dandelions and clover are weeds, that lawns should be only grass to be mowed down regularly, and that everything but the grass should be highly treated with pesticides. This makes a hostile environment for bees, butterflies and other pollinators. Many bee poisoning problems could be prevented by better communication and cooperation among the grower, pesticide applicator and the beekeeper.