Since the late 1900s, the number of honeybees in America and around the world has plummeted due to malnutrition, pesticides, and parasites. According to Bee Informed, “beekeepers total of 44.1 percent of their colonies over the year.” (Bee Informed) Human life depends on these honeybees, not only do they produce honey, but they also provide valuable pollination services along with butterflies, wasps, flies, and birds. Sustain web states, “around 80% of the US crop said to be dependent on honey bees.” Examples of these crops include blueberries, kiwis, cherries, cranberries, almonds, cucumbers, and many more.
The decrease in honeybees also causes issues within the dairy and meat industries. Clover is a common crop used to feed cows and without bees, there would be nothing to pollinate it. Many people think that the loss of honeybees would be insignificant however, it could easily ruin our entire planet.
There are many solutions to this issue, one of them is to refrain from using harmful pesticides.
While the exact percentage of pesticide-related bee losses is unknown, studies show that large decreases in bees are more common in states like Oklahoma, Iowa, Maine, Wisconsin, and Illinois where the use of pesticides is more frequent. When a bee lands on a flower or crop that is covered in pesticides, it goes directly to the bee’s nervous system, disorienting it, and damaging its thinking. When this happens, the bee will be unable to return to its hive and this is what destroys colonies. Instead of using these harmful pesticides, opt for something bee-safe like vinegar.
White wine and apple cider vinegar are common and effective alternatives to these pesticides. Another bee-safe pest repellent would be the chrysanthemum flower. They contain a compound called pyrethrin which is a natural repellent against things like mosquitos, moths, ants, and other pests. Chrysanthemum can also be boiled into a tea and sprayed onto the plants once cooled. The use of these pesticide alternatives could drastically help to decrease the number of honeybee colony losses.
Consider planting a bee-friendly garden and trees. Bees are an important component in every garden, without them crops, flowers, and trees would be unable to flourish. Planting non-hybrid flowers is not ideal because they don’t produce as much nectar, they prefer flowers like poppies, honeysuckles, lilacs, bluebells, sunflowers, and especially lavender due to the large amounts of nectar they produce. They also enjoy trees that bloom like: cherry, crabapple, and locust trees. Trees are important for bees to have access to because they produce hundreds of blooms for them to collect nectar from. Bee baths are another component that can be beneficial to a bee garden. Bees love to hydrate, placing pebbles and sticks for them to land on in a bowl filled with clean water and place it in a garden, will give bees a place to take a break and refresh themselves. To keep pests away in these gardens, only bee-safe pesticides should be used for the bees to work to their full potential.
One final solution to this worldwide issue would be to go organic. Only purchasing organic ingredients, will support small bee-safe farms. These farms almost always refrain from the use of pesticides. To be sure, it is important to look for labels that state “grown without pesticides”. A commonplace to find these products is at a farmer’s market when gardeners and farmers gather and sell their goods. Farmers’ markets also oftentimes will sell local honey. Purchasing local honey is a way to support local beekeepers who work to protect their bees and bring awareness to their importance of them.
The most efficient solution would be to plant a bee-friendly garden without harmful pesticides, in return, the bees will fly around pollinating the rest of the crops. Bees need safe places to gather nectar and when a pesticide is used it creates an unsafe environment for them. If there are no safe places for these bees to do their job and live, they will all die off. According to the National Resources Defense Council, humans wouldn’t live long without bees. By just simply planting a few seeds and not using pesticides, humans can bring honeybees back from the brink of extinction. This issue is more dangerous than most people realize yet the solution is quite simple.