The Last Of The Breed
-- Fort Collins, Colorado
The number of managed honey bee hives in the U.S. has declined by 50 percent since 1950. The annual rate of loss of honey bee hives has now reached 30 percent. At least 9.2% of Europe’s wild bee species now face extinction, and another 5.2% will soon join them, and the population of once widespread bumblebee has fallen 80% in just a decade, as farmers razed clover-rich grasslands.
Why are bees faring so badly? Scientists studying the problem believe a combination of factors could be responsible, including pesticide exposure, reduction of habitat due to agriculture and other human development, an inadequate food supply and a new virus that targets bees' immune systems.
Regardless of the cause, this decline in bee population is grievously worrisome. The US Department of Agriculture has estimated that honeybees contribute some 20 billion to the economy every year, and Europe's International Union for Conservation of Nature estimates that pollination by bees — both wild and domesticated — is worth €22 billion annually in Europe.
What can you do? Plant bee-attracting flowers and plants, educate yourself about bees and the problems they face, and get involved in conservation efforts to re-stabilize bee populations. If nothing else, please help by NOT simply ignoring the problem and hoping that it will just magically sort itself out - spread the word and help raise awareness at the very least.
Maurice Maeterlinck, in his book The Life of the Bee,
said that "if the bee disappeared off the face of the earth, man would only have four years left to live."
I don't know if that's precisely true or not, but I do believe that if we lose our bees the consequences will be dire indeed.
Thanks for reading and considering.
For ++In Praise of Polllinators
curated by +Dusty Gedge
, and +BugsEveryday
curated by +Chris Mallory
, and #FloralFriday
created by +Tamara Pruessner
and co-curated by +Beth Akerman
, +Kiki Nelson
, and +Eustace James
, and #hqspflowers +HQSP Flowers
curated by +Krystina Isabella Brion +Melania Pierce +Kanlaya Chungsangornpornsuk +Wayne Lu +Iva Pas
, and +FLOWER POWER
curated by +Edith Kukla
, and +//flower colors//
curated by +angelic labru
, and #hqspmacro +HQSP Macro
curated by +Terrie Gray +Stefanie Schächtel +Igor Schevchenko +Ernest Fdez. +Thies Groden
, and #Macro4All
by +Bill Urwin
, +Thomas Kirchen
, +Walter Soestbergen
), and #macromaniacs
and +Sandra Deichmann
, and #macroaddict
) curated by +Sandrine Berjonneau
and +Albert Vuvu Konde +Jean-Pierre Malézieux
and +Ruth Hochholdinger
and +William Banik
, and the +Breakfast Club
curated by +Gemma Costa