Bees are so important to our survival it is estimated that if bees keep on dying at the present rate, it could only be two years before human beings start to starve because of the lack of food!
Scary stuff – but true. In the UK alone, a fifth of bees died last winter. Other countries from America to Germany, are reporting declines in the bee population.
No one is sure of the cause, but pesticides, modern agriculture, disease, and selective breeding have all been added to the list of possible causes. It has been suggested that because the land has less variety of plants and flowers they bees are becoming ill, as they need a variety of nectar, just like we need a variety of food to survive.
Another problem which is affecting bees world wide, is CCD colony collapse disorder, which wipes out the entire hive with no indication of the cause, devastating populations, and significantly affecting bee keepers whose livelihood depends on bees to pollinate crops such as fruits and nuts.
We can all do something to help the bees. If everyone planted some bee friendly seeds in their garden, or on a window box, or along the roadside, the bees would be able to travel shorter distances to find the nectar they require, and they would be less exhausted when they get back to the hive.
A bee can travel one quarter of a mile on a pin head of honey, and some bees travel several miles – or kilometres – to find flowers which have the right nectar ready for collection.
If we do not try to help bees now, we could find many of our fruits, vegetables and nuts disappear from the shops, plus the ones that are available to buy will be so expensive because there will be a lot less of them, that only rich people will be able to afford them.
We all need vitamins and minerals to be healthy, this means we all need a balanced and varied diet. Without bees, we will have a very limited variety of foods and some people could become very ill, and even die because they are not getting enough vitamins to keep them healthy.