Bees, specifically honey bees, are wonderful little creatures that are one of our greatest resources and contribute to providing us with many of our valuable goods. The obvious is honey but bees are responsible for much more, especially in our native California (more specifically, our Central Valley).
Honey bees play a crucial role in agriculture due to their ability to pollinate. Without bees, we lose a substantial amount of crops that are dependant (some less than others) on these little workers. Staples in a Californians diet such as almonds, oranges, lemons, and avocados are foods that are affected. Because of this, it is important we take the substantial loss of these creatures very seriously, which I think we have not as a society. According to surveys taken nationwide and reported by BeeInformed.com, an alarming 44% of the bees preserved in bee colonies have died out from 2015-2016.
This concerning loss has been caused mainly by human activity, with things like pesticides and other very dangerous chemicals used in modern agriculture being the main culprits. Some of these chemicals are used to kill off small insects that feed off the plant (grubs, worms, etc.), but often end up also reaching the pollen or leaves of the tree, where the bees roam. Though less common, other contributions to this loss are things caused by human neglect or carelessness, like running over hives or harming them physically.
Though agriculture seems fiscally miniscule in the mass of wealth produced by California, our Central Valley is crucial in the production of our food, producing 35 billion dollars annually, supporting most of our families dependant on agriculture and the diverse business it brings to the valley. If the business aspect of it is not convincing, remember that if we lose bees we lose a crucial part of the ecosystem, lost due to man’s own self interest.
Though there is not much we can do on the ground level, being students and all, but there are many ways that one could still be involved in the preservation of these creatures. There is still very much information to be discovered in the reversal of the effects we have already caused, and it has to be this generation that is willing to find it before it is too late.