Why bees are important for the ecosystem — Olivia’s student essay

Why Bees Are Important For The Ecosystem?

The bee population is declining at an increasingly alarming rate in recent years proving detrimental to the environment. Numerous ecosystems are critically dependent on the honeybee for sustenance all the way up through the food chain impacting human beings. Even crops that are not pollinated by bees themselves benefit within the environment of bee-pollinated crops on account of the diversity created and nutrients in the soil. Of the just under 20,000 bee populations, native bees (about 4,000 of that 20,000) and the originally European honeybees pollinate the vast majority of crops and food sustaining humans and livestock. In fact, it is estimated 75 percent of nuts, fruits, and vegetables in the United States are the direct result of bee pollination. As such, with the steep continual reduction of bees, correlated food production is starkly halting leaving the current rate at which humans are consuming produce no longer economically sustainable.

Exactly how swift are bee numbers deteriorating? According to beekeepers, in the past few winters 30 percent of their colonies are dying off which is double the amount affordable to keep up food consumption levels. That assessment along with numerous other observations calculate billions of deaths including equally diminishing wild bees. Unfortunately, the blame cannot be shifted onto a single culprit and rather the causes behind these staggering numbers are attributed to such issues as global warming, decreasing harvest variety, increasing loss of habitat, toxic pesticides, parasites, and poor beekeeping practices.

 The infringement upon the natural environment by the constant spraying of insecticides, to the ever shrinking existence of natural environment from building and expanding infrastructure, to the increase in temperature leading to plants blooming earlier and dying from sudden frosts that come in early spring, to finally the mishandling of bees by beekeepers, there is a lot to blame.

Honey harvest in apiary. Bees on honeycomb. Beekeeper removes excess honeywax to pull out frame with

The most immediate change we can make to sustain the bee population is to avoid purchasing chemicals known to kill bees with the intent to simply keep crop eating insects at bay. Even individuals who have no intent to purchase such products can boycott businesses who intentionally make those purchases and can lobby for governmental action. Bans that benefit the bees additionally benefit plants, animals, and people.

However, less immediately impactful decisions such as mindful earth benefiting decisions will ultimately also serve to benefit the bees as well. Any environmentally friendly choices that decrease one’s carbon footprint will slow the rising temperature of the Earth and prove advantageous for bees. Another way we can hinder the minimization of bee colonies is to protect the ecosystems around us that are at risk of destruction. It is crucial to allow the bees to have access to the flowers they pollinate and hives they inhabit for subsistence

The rate at which we have caused the bee population to deteriorate is intolerable and abhorrent especially for such a globally integral animal to the complex biological community. We cannot afford any further impairment to their species principally, seeing as human beings are responsible, and logistically, as at the rapid speed of their disappearance the destructive ripple effect will cripple the food industry and the human race.

Author: Olivia Lewis

University of California, Santa Barbara


  • https://environmentamerica.org/feature/ame/no-bees-no-food
  • https://www.businessinsider.com/insects-dying-off-sign-of-6th-mass-extinction-2019-2
  • https://www.sustainweb.org/foodfacts/bees_are_important/
  • https://www.usgs.gov/faqs/why-are-bees-important?qt-news_science_products=0#qt-news_science_products
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