"Save the bees!" is a phrase bandied about a lot on social media. It's often used as a throwaway slogan, but if you're anything like me, actually understanding why we should care about bees requires a little further digging.
The long and short of it is - bees are absolutely crucial to our ecosystem. Like a toppling tower of Jenga, removing an insect as small as a bee from the food chain can majorly disrupt our food sources.
No wonder there's been a rise in popularity around bee talk. Check out this viral beekeeper @texasbeeworks on TikTok for some truly shudder-inducing bee-removal videos.
We're going to dive deeper into how the bees are holding us up on their fuzzy little shoulders, what's actually happening to them, and what we can do to help.
Tell Me More...
Bees are best known for being great pollinators. They fly from plant to plant, helping them grow and breed.
So if the bees die out, likely so will a lot of our crops. This creates a knock-on effect for the animals that eat the crops, and in turn destabilises our entire ecosystem.
Losing the flowers pollinated by bees means fewer homes for other tiny insects, and any animals that dine on bees or their honey will die out.
Pretty grim stuff.
Are The Bees Okay?
Unfortunately, the bee population is in decline all over the world.
Species that were previously commonplace are now making up smaller and smaller parts of the overall population, and there's several reasons why this is the case.
Habitat Loss: Intensive farming and land use have all meant that the places bees would naturally eat and nest are in decline.
Climate Change: Unsurprisingly, climate change is disrupting traditional bee nesting behaviour, as well as the flowering times of their own food.
Pesticides: The big bee killer! Bee-harming pesticides are already banned in certain parts of the world, because if they don't kill the bees straight up, they significantly weaken a colony.
Ways To Protect The Bumbles
Luckily, it's not over yet. There's lots of ways we can support the bee population, and lots of them are free!
Sign a petition to ask governments to stop using pesticides. Avaaz and Greenpeace both have one!
Stop using pesticides. Make sure you're using bee-friendly products only within your home. Let's not contribute to the problem!
Buy local and organic foods. They're grown without pesticides and provide beneficial biodiversity for the bees.
Seek out local initiatives that are passionate about protecting the bees.
Adopt a hive! We've teamed with local legends, Melbourne City Rooftop Honey, to adopt our very own beehive. The funds go back into maintaining and rolling out more beehives in Melbourne.
The Wrap Up
One of the most important things you can do, for free, is raise awareness for the importance of bees.
Events like World Bee Day are designed to bring our fuzzy friends into the conversation. While no one can single-handedly save the bees, by understanding their place in the ecosystem, we can start to take the right kinds of action.