Believe it or not, you have a bee to thank for every one in three bites of food you eat.
Honey bees — wild and domestic — perform about 80 percent of all pollination worldwide. A single bee colony can pollinate 300 million flowers each day. Grains are primarily pollinated by the wind, but fruits, nuts and vegetables are pollinated by bees. Seventy out of the top 100 human food crops — which supply about 90 percent of the world’s nutrition — are pollinated by bees.
scientists know that bees are dying from a variety of factors—pesticides, drought, habitat destruction, nutrition deficit, air pollution, global warming and more. Many of these causes are interrelated. The bottom line is that we know humans are largely responsible for the two most prominent causes: pesticides and habitat loss.
Biologists have found more than 150 different chemical residues in bee pollen, a deadly “pesticide cocktail” according to University of California apiculturist Eric Mussen.
A Greenpeace scientific report identifies seven priority bee-killer pesticides—including the three nicotine culprits—plus clorpyriphos, cypermethrin, deltamethrin, and fipronil. The three neonicotinoids act on insect nervous systems.
Solutions That Save the Bees
Common sense actions can restore and protect the world’s bees. Here’s a strong start:
Ban the seven most dangerous pesticides.
Protect pollinator health by preserving wild habitat.
Restore ecological agriculture.