The saying goes, "April showers brings May flowers." But sadly, there might not be any May flowers in our future. That's because rain isn't the only thing that causes flowers to bloom - we also need bees. Since the late 1990s, beekeepers have noticed a fast and large disappearance in bees. In fact, Time magazine reported more than 700 North-American bee species have declined and are on the verge of extinction.
You might be saying, "what's the big deal," or, "bee extinction doesn't affect me," but the decline in bees effects us all; they play a big role in our ecosystem. For example, the Pollinator Health Task Force found that bees help produce over one third of our food and 75% of our fruit, vegetables and nuts though their role of pollination. Many different flower species would also disappear without bees. Just think - coffee could potentially disappear because bees pollinate the coffee plant.
But why are bees dying? The USDA reported that bee disappearance, also known as Colony Collapse Disorder, is caused by harmful chemicals and pesticides, not enough flowers and viruses that affect the insects.
Honey Nut Cheerios is currently doing a campaign to save bees by removing their mascot Buzz from their cereal boxes. Cheerios said, "Buzz is missing because there's something serious going on with the world's bees. Bee populations everywhere have been declining at an alarming rate, and that includes honeybees like Buzz." They also have donated over 1.5 billion seeds for flower growth to help the restoration of bees.
The Bee Informed Partnership, an organization dedicated finding ways to protect and replenish the bee population, said there are 5 easy ways you can help save bees:
Don't use chemicals and pesticides on your lawn!
Plant bee friendly flowers
Buy local/organic produce because organic farming is bee friendly
Support beekeepers in your area by buying local/raw honey
Spread the word! A lot of people are unaware of the decline of bees