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Saturday, June 10, 2023
MADRID, May 20 2019 (IPS) - Amazingly organised social communities, bees ensure food chain. ‘Bee’ grateful to them… at least on their World Day!
While the (surprisingly) still called homo sapiens continues to destroy Mother Nature, bees and other pollinators, such as butterflies, bats and hummingbirds, carry on performing their vital role as one of the most marvellous, unpaid, life guarantors.
See what the world community of scientists and specialised organisations tell about them.
Pollinators allow plants, including food crops, to reproduce. In fact, 75 percent of the world’s food crops owe their existence to pollinators. But they not only do contribute directly to food security: they are key to conserving biodiversity–a cornerstone of life.
And they also serve as sentinels for emergent environmental risks, signalling the health of local ecosystems.
In the specific case of bees, the product that most people first associate with them is honey. However, bees generate much more than that: they contribute to the maintenance of biodiversity as well as the pollination of crops, these being perhaps their most valuable services.
In charge of all the vital missions, there are more than 20,000 species of wild bees alone, plus many species of butterflies, flies, moths, wasps, beetles, birds, bats and other animals that contribute to pollination.
Quite dramatically, in spite of their vital function, scientists and world bodies continue to ring strong alarm bells about the growing threats to bees.
In fact, they are increasingly under threat from human activities–pesticides, land-use change (and abuse), and mono-cropping practices that reduce available nutrients and pose dangers to them, the whole thing motivated by the dominating voracious production-consumption-based economic model.
Pollinators are also threatened by the decline of practices based on indigenous and local knowledge. These practices include traditional farming systems.
The risk is big: close to 35 percent of invertebrate pollinators, particularly bees and butterflies, and about 17 percent of vertebrate pollinators, such as bats, face extinction globally.
The ‘B’ Day
In a symbolic recognition of their indispensable role as life transmission chain, specialised organisations commemorate on 20 May each year the World Bee Day.
As a way to get you a bit more familiarised with these wonderful creatures, here go some key facts and figures about bees:
A wonderful social community!
The related article: To Bee or Not to Bee… Again!, compiles 13 big amazing facts the United Nations provides about how perfectly organised our bees are. Here is a short reminder.
Honeybees are social insects that live in colonies, each consisting of:
Now that you know them a bit better, please take due note of the fact you can do something to protect the bees and, by the way, a key ring in the life transmission chain
There would be many ways how to show gratitude to bees. Why not just click here and take a quick look at the six big ways how to do so that the UN Food and Agriculture Organization provides.
Please love bees, don’t panic if they fly close to you, they would not harm you unless you attack them.
And always remember that they are working to ensure your food, your health and, by the way, alleviate the huge suffering that homo sapiens is causing to Mother Nature!
Baher Kamal is Director and Editor of Human Wrongs Watch, where this article was originally published.
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