Buzzing for Change: Celebrating World Bee Day 2023
On 20 May 2023, The world will celebrate World Bee Day.
It is a day that symbolises much more than bees.
However, World Bee Day does indeed act as a day of awareness for the future of Bees. Bees have become an endangered species as a result of humanity. The use of pesticides, large-scale agricultural action and decades of industrial abuse of the environment have led to a considerable drop in the population of bees.
But there is something much bigger at play.
Bees symbolise the frightening effect humanity has on the environment.
They are incredibly important to the continuity of the environment as pollinators, but they do much more than merely pollinate flowers. Cucumbers, nuts and even tomatoes require the assistance of bees to develop.
Entire food systems depend on bees for their development. Bees also contribute to the global economy through honey production, crop pollination services, and supporting the livelihoods of beekeepers and farmers.
However, bee populations are at record lows., and we have only ourselves to blame.
Bees are vital to the continuation of the natural habit that surrounds us. They function as preservers of nature, yet we continue to destroy their natural habitat through climate change and pesticide use.
Looking even further, in years past, bees would enjoy a rich choice of habitat, forests and meadows being the recently diminished choice. These areas have become scarce due to large-scale monoculture farming, where vast areas are planted with a single crop. This reduces diverse floral resources for bees, and this lack of biodiversity negatively impacts their nutrition and overall health.
Changes in weather patterns and the warming climate have negatively affected bees. Shifts in flowering seasons, unpredictable weather events, and altered plant-pollinator relationships disrupt bee foraging and survival.
So, what can we do?
To begin. We need to be more proactive in sustaining a positive environment for bees. This starts with safe nesting sites. Bees need areas that are bare, with undisturbed soil for ground-nesting bees. We should strive to provide bee houses or bee hotels with different-sized holes for cavity-nesting bees. These can be relatively easy and cheap to make, with wood or bamboo.
Next, those lucky enough to have gardens should be looking to plant a variety of flowering plants that provide nectar and pollen throughout the seasons. Try to choose native plants whenever possible, as they are well-adapted to local pollinators. Strive to plant a diverse range of flowers with different shapes and colours to attract various bee species.
Local councils and governments should try to adopt bee-friendly landscaping practices in public spaces. Avoid using herbicides that eliminate dandelions and weeds that provide food for bees.
Ultimately, we need to be more conscious about how our actions influence the habitats of bees, especially in our own gardens and large outdoor public areas. Pesticides have a lingering effect and can be extremely detrimental to the survival of bees.
The comes understanding. We should be promoting the best environmental practices to engage as many people as we can. By spreading how to positively influence bees, we can help protect the natural cycle and our wonderful eco systems for generations to come.
Nature is a beast that cannot be tamed. But, right now, it needs our help. Years of abuse at the hands of humanity have left bees at the brink of potential extinction. Without bees, this planet would look alot different, so let's all do our bit to protect bees and our environment.
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