“Save the bees!”
You’ve heard this call to action before, but what’s the buzz really about? Turns out, bees are incredibly important in nature and in human food production.
According to an EarthDay.Org report, there are more than 20,000 distinct bee species worldwide. In the U.S., there are native bees (more than 4,000 species) and commercially managed bees (mostly imported European honeybees). Both are vital for different reasons. The former are wild and keep our forests and meadow ecosystems functioning; the latter are managed by big agriculture to pollinate crops that feed the world.
Unfortunately, most bees are in trouble. Colonies around the world are collapsing and many species are edging towards extinction. Their plight has been described as the death of a thousand cuts, and the causes range from widespread pesticide use to disease to climate change.
So, what can we do? How can we save the bees? Here’s everything you need to know.