Bees have an invariable impact on human society and are one of the most significant insect species in the world. Despite the fact that they are endangered due to the consequences of climate change, our interactions and initiatives can help save this species from extinction.
IMPORTANCE OF BEES IN OUR LIVES:
Bees have a huge impact on our daily lives, from our crops to our gardens. Bees are expected to play a part in producing more than $10 billion in agricultural crops in the United States each year. Bees play an important part in agriculture because of pollination, which is the process by which bees transport pollen (a granular substance) between flowers to promote plant reproduction. According to the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), over 80% of all crops, particularly fruits and vegetables, depend on pollination to keep up with public demand. If bee populations were to decline in size, the cost of our food would rise while the amount would drop. Let’s not forget the honey industry – which is worth hundreds of millions of dollars per year. Aside from their nutritional contributions, these little insects play a critical role in the general health of the environment. Pollination, for example, enables widespread floral development, resulting in gorgeous gardens and vast animal habitats. Almost all aspects of nature, from tropical rainforest to grassy meadows to industrial-scale crop fields, rely on the symbiotic interaction produced by pollination between bees and flowers (flowers provide bees with nectar).
CLIMATE CHANGE: A DANGER TO BEES
Unfortunately, bee numbers have recently been dropping by up to 30% per year. In 1959, there were twice as many honeybee colonies as there are today. This population decline, induced by several of the effects of climate change, will deprive humans of all the benefits that we take for granted from this species.
Temperature variations caused by climate change are preventing bees from pollinating on time. Bees are very vulnerable to extreme weather, and climate change has accelerated the emergence and blooming of flowers. Because bees are unable to adapt to climate change, they are unable to pollinate flowers and, as a result, cannot collect nectar for their hives to consume during the severe winter months. Warming temperatures are restricting the habitable geographical areas the bees can live in by about 10 kms per year. They’re not migrating northward to offset this which is causing bees to miss out on pollination even more.
COLONY COLLAPSE DISORDER:
Many of these factors are accelerating the spread of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), a process in which a colony’s worker bees vanish. This poses a significant threat to bee populations. According to EPA research, CCD is connected to changes in bee habitats and hunger, both of which are indirectly influenced by climate change. Furthermore, climate change allows exotic species to take over bee colonies, ruin stored food, and disturb several processes within these hives, causing bee populations to decrease even further.
RISE IN LEVEL OF CARBON DIOXIDE:
Increasing carbon dioxide levels (associated with climate change and other previously highlighted issues) are also causing mayhem on bee populations. Research has shown a link between carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere and the quantity of protein found in pollen. Increased carbon dioxide levels dilute the protein found in pollen, making it toxic for bees. The abundance of carbon dioxide contributes significantly to the fall in the number and health of the bee population. Carbon dioxide causes a variety of issues for bees, contributing to their population decline.
HELP SAVE THE BEES:
Fortunately, there are solutions to mitigate the effects of this problem. Going carbon negative with Motorcycle Offsetters is one way to help. The carbon offsets you purchase go to projects helping to reduce the effects of climate change. Here are a few more ideas for you to make a difference:
- If you have access to outside space, even if only for a portion of the year, try planting plants like tomato, lavender, and rosemary to supply pollen to bees.
- Avoid applying pesticides and other chemicals that cause CCD on your plants.
- Donate to or volunteer with organizations that work to protect pollinators via study and conservation.
- Purchase locally grown, organic fruits and veggies to assist local beekeepers who are fighting to keep the bee population alive.
- You can even train to be a beekeeper.
There is no doubt about the importance of bees. They work hard for this planet, so let’s work hard for them.
Motorcycle Offsetters provides carbon credits to motorcycle riders who care about their footprint on the planet. With a focus specifically on the motorcycle community, our consumers will experience an interactive journey that reaches far beyond carbon credits. Motorcycle Offsetters wants men and women around the world to enjoy each ride knowing they’re adding to the beauty of the open road.