No more bees? What’s the big issue? I recently have been hearing a lot of rumors about bees being added to the endangered species list. This is the first time in U.S. history that bees have been placed on the endangered species list. My initial thought when I heard this news was that bees are a pest and half of my family is deathly allergic, so this is good news, not bad news! After research on this specific topic, I sadly realized I had been mistaken. Bees being placed onto the endangered species list is far from good news.
Just like I questioned, you may be wondering what the actual purpose of bees is. Have you ever heard the phrase “busy bee”? This phrase is not inaccurate and is commonly said because bees are indeed really busy and work very hard. The main task of a bee is to help the relocation of pollen or seeds, which occurs when bees travel from flower to flower. When a bee partakes in the pollination process, it is allowing fertilization to occur so plants can grow. More importantly, they are catalysts to producing food that humans can eat. Essential fruits and vegetables that we consume on a daily basis, such as apples, blueberries, oranges, cherries and cucumbers, as well as nuts, would not be able to thrive. Locations all over the United States that grow produce will start to experience issues with their farming and overall production with the decline in bees.
The decline of bees was first realized at the turn of the new decade, between late 2009 and early 2010. Many types of bees have been observed and studied from 2009 until now, 2016. Since the observations and findings were projected over many years, this could be considered an observational longitudinal study. Karl Magnacca, a professor at the University of Hawaii, is a man who devoted nearly twenty years of his life to studying bees and their decline. Karl Magnacca is also the co author of the book Insects of Hawaii: Hawaiian Hylaeus (Nesoprosopis) Bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea), which talks about his findings. An example of Karl Magnacca’s findings would include that bees usually favor powerful plants, but also are crucial to the whole forest and ecosystem as a whole.
Bees being added to the endangered species list is huge problem, but this actually the first step in their revival. Because bees have been added to the endangered species list, their decline is at least being acknowledged as an issue. More importantly, bees are now protected under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, which conserves these species to the greatest ability possible.
Bees are crucial for a stable eco system, which is why their decline is urgent to our society. Without bees, we will lose some of our favorite foods that we eat every single day. If you were like me, I hope you gained knowledge on bees that you did not know before. Through all this research I realized how important bees are. Even though my family is allergic to bees, I now understand their importance to the global ecosystem. In conclusion, next time you see a bee, don’t swat it or view it as a pest, because we need them!