Today is national "Don't Step On a Bee Day" and we want to take a moment to honor our friend, the BEE.
Bees have been disappearing on a frighteningly large scale around the world, a phenomenon that has been dubbed "Colony Collapse Disorder" and we are at a tipping point, according to many researchers. Since World War II, circa 1945, bee populations have declined from 4.5 million to 2 million, as of 2007. According to entomologist Marla Spivak in her below Ted Talk, the main threats to bees causing the decline are believed to be:
* Parasites and disease
* Agricultural monocultures from modern farming practices
* An increasing flowerless landscape
So, why should we care? Aside from bees being awesome, we should care because more than 1/3 of the world's crops depend on bee pollination. As bees have been dying over the last 50 years, we've increasingly needed them more and more — worldwide crop production dependent on bee pollination has increased by 300%.
See BEAUTIFUL close-up photos of bees >>
How can we help? Dr. Spivak offers two simple ways we can help bees:
* Plant bee-friendly flowers.
* Don’t contaminate them with pesticides.
Easy, right? We need to nourish a diversity of bee-friendly, flowering plants year-round — at home, in public spaces, roadsides and farmlands. However, some garden plants may be harmful to bees, depending on where you purchased them — so be sure you vet your source. Check out Discovery News for the full report >>
"We need to diversify our farms. We need to plant flowering crop borders and hedge rows, to disrupt the agricultural food desert and begin to correct the dysfunctional food system that we’ve created," Dr. Spivak says.