Dear Future President,
Many animals and species of plants are facing the issue of extinction, and many of these species are important to us and the ecosystems around them. Protecting and saving dying species should be a crucial issue to us today. I believe, though, that saving the bees should be one of our top priorities. Many animals are important, but it can be argued that bees are the key to our mass food production and ability to support our large population.
Bees are natural pollinators. Pollination is crucial to very many plant species, and is their way of reproduction. Bees pollinate around 80% of our food supply. Some plants rely 90% on bee pollination. They pollinate vital food sources such as fruits, vegetables, grasses, beans, and flowers. These are the foods that support and allow for us to survive off agriculture. With human population ever growing, losing our black and yellow pollinators will make managing and coming up with enough food to feeding our large population incredibly difficult. How could we ever support our ever-growing population, hitting 7 billion currently, without the vital key to our mass food production? With currently 21,000 people starving every day, what would that number reach if we lost high amounts of productions of food? Bees are responsible for one in every three bites of food in the United States. Without the vital pollination of our food, how will we be able to support future generations of our planet?
Bees don’t only support human populations, but also entire ecosystems. Without the pollination of vital plants that many animals rely on for food, their will be no sources or ways that those animal could access a food source. By reducing the foods of herbivores, the food for the whole food chain surrounding that ecosystem will decline. Crops and plants will grow significantly less without bees around to support and help them reproduce(Bees lead to a crop value of $15million-$18million). The lack of food could cause complete species to go extinct.
Populations of bees have been declining significantly for the past(approximately) 60 years, and the rapid decline in such a short period of time is raising serious concerns. Honeybee colonies have been declining significantly since the 1940s. The United States loses approximately 30%-70% of Honey Bee colonies per year. In 1946 there were approximately 5.5 million hives in the United States. In 2006, there were approximately 3 million hives. Numbers have been declining even more since then. There are many concerns for why bee populations are decreasing, including: sickness, parasites, pesticides, and environmental stress(including lack of pollen and habitat loss).
Bee colonies are dying off due to many reasons, mostly human caused. One of the largest, most influential is the loss of their crucial habitat. Bee hives are the main center to their successful colonies, and if a bee hive is not in a suitable spot the bees will not be able to survive or thrive. Bees not only need a place to live, they need crucial food supplies. That and the loss of pollen in many ecosystems is leading to a large decrease in bees. Another main reason that bee populations are decreasing is the use of pesticides on plants that need to be pollinated. Many pesticides affect bees in different ways than other insects. They cause damage to the bees brain, which are crucial to social animals like bees are. Colony Collapse Disorder, when the worker bees in a colony die off, and the lack of being able to reproduce(particularly because pesticides affecting their reproductive systems) is also a major reason that bees are declining. Climate change is also a factor.
Bees are being recognized as endangered. The first seven species of bees have been added to the endangered list, all from Hawaii. Rusty Patched Bees(found in the continental US) were also proposed to the list. Bees are so intertwined and important to the growth and production of our society, and to the livelihoods of many species. We need to put forth effort in raising awareness and protecting our keystone species. Many hives are killed each year by Americans who don’t realize that bees are endangered, them believing that the bees will harm them. There are many ways that everyday people can help and support bees, One way is to plant a small garden, or flowers around your house or community to provide extra pollen for the bees. Reducing the use of pesticides, and being careful with how they are used is also an important role to save bees. Another way to support bees is to support their keepers! Buying locally grown or organically grown fruits and vegetables that support local beekeepers is a great way to provide support. Spreading knowledge about these ways to support is critical.
Bees need more than just local support, though. They need our attention. Protecting bees is not only protecting the species itself, but so many ecosystems that rely solely on the small, fuzzy creatures. Proper funding, land, banning harmful pesticides, and providing food and pollen are steps we need to take to regain large populations of these incredible animals. Bees are a necessary part of many ecosystems and play a vital role in many different types of life.