What is Causing the Honey Bee Crisis?
If you have an interest in environmental causes and living a sustainable lifestyle, you have most likely heard the alarming facts about the declining honey bee populations worldwide. At Eco-ACTual™, we are committed to sustainable living and promoting good environmental practices. We’re not just eco-friendly — we’re Eco-ACTual™. That’s why we are proud to sell truly environmentally friendly products, and donate 1% of our sales to beekeepers associations. Read on to learn more about why the bees are in danger, and steps you can take to help them.
The Bee Crisis Explained
First of all, why is saving the bees so important? Bees are responsible for the extremely important process of pollination, the process by which flowers reproduce. In a mutually beneficial relationship, bees gather pollen from flowers to feed themselves, and in the process move pollen from flower to flower to allow plant reproduction. Many plants rely heavily on bees for the pollination process. If bee populations were to continue to die off, this would mark an extremely grave threat for much of the world’s flora, and, in turn, much of humans’ food sources. Currently, beekeepers are reporting losses at nearly double the rate of what has been historically normal — an alarming statistic that cannot be sustained without us taking action.
It may seem like another unbelievable statistic, but one-third of our food production relies on the pollination of bees. A world without bees would be absolutely disastrous for worldwide food production. It would be extremely expensive and impractical to rely on forms of hand-pollination, so it makes sense both ethically and economically to prevent this crisis by doing all we can to save the bees.
What is to Blame?
When it comes to understanding the reasons being declining bee populations, there is both good and bad news. The good news is that we have a much clearer grasp on the issue than we did in the past, and access to a greater amount of data than when the problem became widely known decades ago. The bad news is that bee decline has been linked to several related factors that all need to be addressed.
A factor at the forefront of bee decline is the widespread use of harmful pesticides. There is also the unfortunate reality that the sale of pesticides is big business, with large pesticide manufacturers lobbying against changes in pesticide laws. Certain pesticides can harm bees both directly and indirectly. Often, bees are exposed to trace amounts of different pesticides, which form a deadly combination over time and can cause sickness or death.
The expansion of industrial farming has come at the cost of reducing the natural habitats of bees and a wide variety of other creatures. Not only are these habitats changed, but they are also polluted by the aforementioned pesticides frequently used in mono-culture farming.
In combination with these other factors, climate change is also having a negative impact on bee populations. In addition to the habitat loss associated with climate change, changing worldwide temperatures can cause disruption in pollination timing. Improper pollination timing can cause bees to be less productive, less healthy, and more likely to die off.
What Can We Do? What Can I Do?
At Eco-ACTual™, we are passionate about environmental action. We don’t believe in merely saying we care about the environment, we believe in taking action that has an actual impact on furthering environmental causes. When it comes to a problem that seems as big as the honey bee crisis, it can be easy to be overwhelmed and believe that the actions of just one person can’t have a meaningful effect. However, even small actions by everyday people can have a huge impact when taken together. Here are some steps we can all take to do our part in saving the bees:
- Reduce or completely eliminate your use of pesticides
- Allow your yard to grow naturally (bees love dandelions!)
- Plant a bee-friendly garden
- Create a bee bath in your yard
- Buy honey locally to support local beekeepers
- Donate to trustworthy environmental organizations
- Do your part to educate others!
The bee crisis may seem like an insurmountable problem, but it’s important to stay encouraged and remember that taking small steps can have a huge effect. The next time you’re looking to buy something online, consider the impact your purchase could have on the environment. For sustainable gifts and products, visit our online store (link). With Eco-ACTual™ you can feel confident knowing your purchase is safe for the environment, and proceeds are going towards saving our bee population.