Bees, such as honeybees, bumblebees, and many of the native bees are critically important to most crops. Without bees, much of the food we eat would disappear. This is why bees making the endangered species list for the first time in the United States is so critically important.
Bees are pollinating insects, which means that they help make the yield on most crops more successful. In fact, most crops would not exist on a commercial basis without bees. In China, the loss of bees is so severe that apple farmers have to pollinate their trees by hand. That added labor drives up the price of apples. If the United States were to lose bees there would be a very marked reduction in apples, oranges, squash, beans, tomatoes, peppers, and so on. In fact, the list of foods we would lose would be incredibly significant. There is only so much hand pollinating can do.
Much of the food you find in grocery stores is at least partially in thanks to bees. Without bees, the price of food would be staggering. American farmers would have to pay people to pollinate their crops by hand. It is estimated that as much as one-third of pollinated foods would be gone. What would be left would be wind pollinated crops such as corn and wheat. The price of meats would rise dramatically because the price of grains would rival gold. Bees are a critical necessity to life as we know it.
For a while now, the fate of bees has been in question. Colony collapse is devastating honeybee colonies across the globe. Many of the bumblebees are dying off. That is why Preventative Pest Control moves wild bee colonies away from homes instead of destroying them.
Honeybees are a social insect and they survive because they form colonies. When those colonies get too large, a new queen flies off with a portion of the drones to form a new hive. Preventative Pest Control knows how to handle bees safely. They collect them, box them to keep them safe and contained and then we transport them to a location where they can set up a colony and help support Texas agriculture.
For the last few years, we’ve been hearing about the decline of bees. Now, in the first week of 2017, the rusty patched bumblebee has officially been designated as an endangered species. To dig a little deeper, let’s see what’s putting the sting on our bees. Why are bees an endangered species?
First of all, this is not a first-of-a-kind news headline. Unfortunately, seven other bee species have already been added to the endangered list, but all of them reside in Hawaii. The rusty patched bumblebee made news by being the first species of bee in the lower 48 states to be placed on the endangered list. So, what’s going on here? Why all the buzz over these bees?
Keep in mind that our planet’s ecosystem has evolved over millions of years to reach a natural state of balance. Every member of the ecosystem has a role in maintaining a somewhat ideal balance for life as we know it. Bees do their fair share of the work for the ecosystems, but also for our direct use. These bees are natural pollinators. In fact, they provide humanity with nearly $9 billion worth of ecosystem services. Native pollinators, like these bees, enable and support the production of at least 90 different commercial crops here in the United States. Globally, this means that 35% of the food that we produce is dependent on pollinators. In other words, if these pollinators were a country, they would rank among the top 100 economies on the planet! That’s a lot of work for an animal that does not get a pay raise or any insurance coverage.
This, of course, did not happen overnight. The designation of this mainland US bee onto the endangered list was a slow build over time. Many other species have felt the influence of human goings-on and have reacted by migrating to safer land. These bees however did not do such a thing. Instead they stuck around and just started to disappear. To better understand this change, scientists looked at over a century’s worth of bee activity. They studied our land use changes, the way we have added pesticides to our crops, and how burning fossil fuels have altered climate trends.
If you are concerned about bees there are some things you can do to help them. Be very specific about pesticide usages. Call Preventive Pest Control to help with your pest control issues because we know proper usage and application of pesticides so as not to harm the bees. Bees need pollen and that means one of the easiest things to do is to plant more flowers.