Bees do much more than honey: thanks to pollination they allow the survival of the entire plant world, playing an essential role in ecosystems.
If they disappeared, nature would stop being born and live as luxuriant as we see it today.
In fact, the bees, unlike other pollinating insects which nourish for eating individually, collect as much pollen as possible to carry to the hive, thus moving from flower to flower.
They therefore play a very important role for the ecosystem and if their disappearance became a reality, the entire plant balance would break with serious consequences for the biodiversity of the planet. The food sources of free-living animals would be jeopardized, but also human subsistence activities (remember that pollination is responsible for about 75% of agricultural production! )
There is also an artificial pollination, but it is very laborious, slow and above all expensive.
It is estimated that bees perform a service worth some EUR 265 billion per year for us free of charge. Defending bees is therefore in our interest, even from an economic point of view.
What threatens the survival of bees?
There are numerous factors that threaten their survival, the most important of which are the use of pesticides , the loss of natural habitats , diseases and pests , and finally climate change .
Also the Asian hornet ( Vespa Velutina ) eats bees and unfortunately many species are expanding beyond the borders of their natural habitat, facing bees unprepared and defenseless in front of them. We have to think that for a hornet to find a hive is like hunting in a henhouse. This bumblebee also kills bees either directly eating them, or indirectly besieging their hives. It is estimated that a range occupied by Velutine wasps can lead to the loss of 50% of hives.
The threat that we want to emphasize, however, is represented by the use of insecticides in agricultural plantations that the bee assumes when it goes to suck nectar in the cultivated fields, reducing its life expectancy by about 10% (a healthy worker bee usually lives between 65 and 85 days).
An analysis has shown that a quarter of the more than 20,000 known bee species are no longer surveyed.
Ecological agriculture without pesticides is a possible reality and we can still make a difference.
What can we do?
- Planting melliferous plants (for example, calendula, tulips, daisy, lavender, thyme, buckwheat, sunflowers, mallow, fennel, rosemary, dill, coriander and many more)
- Planting trees that constitute a habitat for bees: they will exploit the leaves of the trees and the resin from which they will derive the material for nesting, in addition, the natural cavities of the wood are excellent shelters.
- Do not use chemicals in the garden
- Buy honey from local producers to support them
- Create a habitat for them: build them a house (just create a wooden frame and insert pieces of wood inside which you have made holes, alternating with small twigs and/ or bamboo canes)
Finally, remember that there is the World Bee Day, celebrated on May 20: take the opportunity to share something on social media or to talk about it with your friends, raising awareness of the people around you who are not aware of this sad reality… We can still save the bees together!