The un-bee-lievable truth

The “Save the Bees” movement is buzzing with urgency as the population declines


Story by Mikayla Zverina, staff writer

No one thinks twice about swatting at a bee or destroying a beehive, but these things have a bigger impact than most people realize. Several bee species have officially been added to the endangered species list of the United States. Everyone must take action to help save this under appreciated insect.

The effect bees have on flowers and their reproduction is well-known, but bees have a significant impact on crop production also. One-third of America’s crops, which is worth about $15 billion, depend on bees alone. Fruits, vegetables, nuts and cotton heavily depend on bees. The parts of  the economy that depend on cotton are especially struggling.

 While there is not a tentative reason for the decreasing bee populations, scientists have many theories. A few of these include Colony Collapse Disorder, insecticides, poor nutrition and destruction of hives.

Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is an unexplained phenomenon that has been attacking bee populations for about thirteen years. This causes the queen and larvae to be abandoned by the swarm when they randomly disappear from the hive. CCD has been the cause of 31.1% of hive loss in the winter months. 

Insecticides are chemicals spread all over croplands used to kill insects. Bees go to pollinate the crops drenched in these insecticides and bring these harmful chemicals back to the hives. Once a contaminated bee enters the hive, it is spread to other members which leads to possible destruction of the hive as a whole.

Bees work nonstop and need a multitude of food and nutrients to keep up with their lifestyle. A variety of nutrients that can be obtained from many different crops are required to help bees stay healthy. Because many farms have transformed from producing various crops to focusing solely on a single crop, nearby bees are lacking the variety of nutrients necessary to stay alive. 

Most people consider bees as pests that need to be forcefully exterminated from all inhabited areas, but that isn’t the case whatsoever. Many areas have professionals that will safely remove beehives from unwanted areas and transport them to local beekeepers. Many hives a year are destroyed because of human ignorance.

To combat the decline, here are a few ways to help that are “the bee’s knees.” People don’t have to be master gardeners to provide a bee-friendly hotspot. All that is needed are plants that are popular in the bee community such as sunflowers, lavender, thyme, mint, sage, poppy, and dahlias. Another way to help is to stop using insecticides that are harmful to bees. And above all, simply don’t kill or harm bees; they’re trying their best. 

To be frank, there are many theories as to why the bee population is declining, but there are just as many ways to help combat that declination. Do the world a favor and help save this endangered species. Bee the change you want to see.