Bees and other insects related to them are today one of the most threatened animals, as they are close to extinction. Why are bees in danger of extinction? Well, the reasons are diverse and, really, most are in the hands of humans, as well as the possible solutions. In AgroCorrn we tell you the great importance of these pollinating insects for the entire planet, why they are in danger of becoming extinct and, specifically, what human factors endanger the life of bees, as well as what we can do to help them.
The importance of bees for humans and the planet
That’s right, bees are vital to life on the planet , including ours. Although it may seem strange or even incredible to some, it is so, these small pollinating animals are vital for humans. As we just said, these are animals that pollinate. When feeding, they collect pollen on their legs, antennae and hair to take it to the hive, but when they go from flower to flower, they also release a part, which results in a reproductive method widely used by a great variety of plants. Thus, bees greatly help the planet’s vegetation to continue to grow.
Therefore, they are also very important for other animals, such as herbivorous animals that feed on these plants as well as for humans, since we need vegetation to live, because we obtain food, areas with more water, areas with different climates, we use plants. to make clothes and other materials, and so on.
Therefore, the problems of environmental pollution that affect bees, humans affect us directly and indirectly, by seriously damaging species such as these insects that provide great wealth to our ecosystem and allow us to live as we have been up to now.
In addition, if we look at it from a global food and economic perspective, it turns out that the insects that pollinate contribute 10% to the economic value of world agricultural production. If we add this to everything else, such as that the plants that help to reproduce give us more oxygen to breathe, then we see that bees really have great importance.
Why the bee is an endangered animal – the causes
Many are the species of bees, wasps and bumblebees that are at risk, but really the most affected are the first. Specifically, we can base ourselves on the study called “Red List of Bees” carried out by IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), in charge of updating the Red List of threatened and endangered species, together with STEP (State and Trend Pollinators in Europe), has determined that almost 1 in 10 bees in the wild in Europe is under threat of extinction. This study has been carried out on 1,965 species of bees in Europe, a high number especially considering that some 2,000 species are known in Europe.
Specifically, it has been concluded that currently more than 9% of wild bee species are threatened with extinction . In addition, it has been shown that the trend is upward and that each year this percentage increases significantly, in fact it is estimated that soon this figure will increase more than 5%, exceeding 15% of wild bee species. For this reason, the European Commission has shown support to these two entities with projects to save bees.
Among the main causes of the near disappearance of bees , the following have been highlighted:
- The deterioration and loss of bee habitats.
- Diseases and parasites that affect them directly, such as the internal parasite Acarapis Woodi that causes acarapisosis and the external parasite Varroa Destructor , which is a mite that causes the disease known as varroasis.
- The increase in predatory species of bees, such as Asian wasps or Vespa velutina .
- Invasive species , both animals and plants.
- Accelerated climate change.
- Discharges of toxic substances into the environment, such as pesticides and insecticides used in industrialized agriculture.
- In general, environmental pollution.
Consequences of the extinction of bees
Thus, knowing the importance of these flying insects, we can say that among the consequences of the disappearance of bees we highlight the following:
- Lower production of products such as honey and fruits, since on the one hand the number of honey-producing bees is reduced and, on the other hand, as there is less pollination, one of the most affected are fruit trees that depend on insects like these. , which results in less fruit.
- Economic loss, since the pollination work carried out by bees and other similar insects has been valued that for world agriculture it represents about 265 billion euros per year.
- The populations of animals that feed on them or on honey, such as Asian wasps or bears, would be reduced.
- The number of some plant species would be reduced or they would even become in danger of extinction and, in a relatively short time, could become extinct.
- Humans would lose a large amount of food, therefore it would not be possible to feed part of the world population (a problem that already exists would be intensely aggravated), the natural production of oxygen would be reduced, so it would cost us more to breathe and there would be more pollution , and there would be economic losses.
How to help endangered bees
Finally, we discuss some measures that can be a solution so that the bees do not become extinct .
- Stop using products that pollute the environment, especially pesticides, pesticides and chemical insecticides, and use natural products with the same effect.
- Bet more on organic farming, both at a private level and by governments around the world.
- If we consume honey, make sure it is organically produced.
- Plant plants in gardens, public and private, and parks that are of types that attract bees, such as primroses, foxgloves, lavender, sunflowers, and yarrow.
- Support associations and organizations that have protection projects for these pollinators.
- Build beehives in cities to help them. In this other article we will tell you all about the Beehives in the city to save the bees .