It might seem like an absurd question to ask, but what if there were no bees? There are obvious downsides, like a sudden shortage of Honey Nut Cheerios, but are there further reaching consequences? Yes. Yes, there are. The consequences of bees disappearing are mind-blowingly bad. Thankfully, people are doing something to try and protect the bees, or at least help protect us—if we can’t save them.
Did you know?
- Bees are pollinators, meaning they have a vital role in the reproduction of many plants.
- They don’t just make honey, they help pollinate a wide variety of crops such as apples, avocados, berries, and so much more.
- Bees are involved in over 15 billion dollars of US economic activity each year.
- The number of managed beehives is in decline, from 6 million beehives in 1947 to just 2.5 million in 2014.
- Bee loss rates have risen dramatically since 2006, with 44% of US bees dying from in the 2015-2016 year, much higher than previous annual loss rates.
- Bee populations are bouncing back somewhat in Canada, but the US is a source of 57% of imported food in Canada.
- Bee deaths don’t appear to be due to a single cause. These include mites, bacteria, pesticides, colony collapse disorder, and other issues, including increased environmental changes and urbanization; making finding a solution complex.
- Lower bee numbers impact crop cycles and increase the cost of food as beekeepers charge more.
- Scientists are developing robo-bees to help with the pollination needs of our vital crops.
- The Economic Challenge Posed by Declining Pollinator Populations
- The importance of bees: pollination
- Death and Extinction of Bees
- Colony Collapse Disorder not the Biggest Threat for Honeybees
- Bee Populations Bouncing Back in Canada, but Not in the US
- Robo-Bees Could Aid Insects with Pollination Duties