World Bee Day was 20th May. A day upon which we amplify our efforts to raise awareness of the significance of bees to the world around us. Their significance, cannot be understated. If you’re not already aware, bees are, amongst other things, hurt by the rapidly changing landscape, use of chemicals, pollution, and increasingly warmer weather. Species are on the decline, others have already become extinct, and the UN reports that one million bee species are facing extinction as a result of human actions. Yours and mine.
Believe it or not, bees are important. Not only do they travel miles each day to produce honey for us humans, but did you know that they are also responsible for the following:
- California is responsible for around 80% of the world’s almond supply. Without the efforts of bees to pollinate the crops, there would be no almonds.
- One third of the food produced in the world – or put another way, one out of three bites of anything you eat – depends, to some extent, on honeybees. So, it’s not only about honey, but without honeybees, our supply of fresh food would be very limited. Think about a world without, for example, avocados, citrus fruits, tomatoes, mixed nuts, peaches, cinnamon, onions, cherries. And even dairy products! Bees pollinate the crops on which cows rely upon for one third of their diet.
- Eighty percent of the cotton that makes up the clothes we wear, and other household items such as rugs, bedsheets, furniture fabrics, all rely upon honeybees, as cotton crops need to be pollinated.
- Bees are vital for the preservation of our ecological balance, biodiversity in nature, and work hard to reduce pollution.
- Bees are also responsible for billions of dollars in world economic output. And all they request from humans in return for their tireless effort during their short lived lives, is pretty much a little bit tender, love and care.
So, what are simple actions you can start taking today to help?
- If you see a still bee, it has likely run out of energy so....
- A mix of 1-part sugar and 2-parts water on a spoon will help
- Key is to have shallow water
- Planting bee friendly plants like heather and daisies in your garden
- Leaving sections of the garden wild, and letting the grass grow long gives the bees a place to shelter
- Don't use pesticides as they are harmful to bees just as they are to humans
- There are even some bricks which are bee-friendly
In my recent blog on happiness and well-being, we explored the positive impact the natural environment can have on human beings. Naturally then, we won’t have this without a healthy ecosystem, and bees play a big, if not vital role in this.
Bill Ozturk is also the co-founder of Mamo & Oz – Raw Ethiopian Honey sourced ethically and harvested through ancient, traditional methods that produce a rare & rich flavour.
Photo credits Vogue Australia