Who runs the world? Bees! We’re not even joking, our lives would be very different if it weren’t for our buzzy little friends.
A blooming industry
The £80 billion flower industry supports over 120,000 employees in the UK and US alone. Not surprisingly, florists are incredibly reliant on bees for pollination, considering the alternative would cost the industry £3 billion a year. Artificial pollination is mind-bogglingly expensive, and as the majority of florists are small businesses with less than three employees, the process would have a huge impact on the industry and cost many people their livelihood.
Now for something that will hit a little harder, let’s talk about wine. Perhaps the greatest fruit of all is one of the causes of the dwindling bee populations, but is also at a loss without them. Though grapes reproduce without help from bees, the quality of the grape is often determined by the amount of nitrogen found in the soil in which the crop grows. Plants that balance the nitrogen levels are planted, and without bees, these plants wouldn’t pollinate. Due to harmful pesticides used in vineyards, bee populations decline, and nitrogen levels are disturbed. No bees, no wine. Simple.
However, we can live without fresh cut flowers, and we could probably (maybe) live without wine, but we absolutely cannot live without all the other things that depend on bees. 80% of produce would disappear from supermarket shelves, and with an ever growing population, the global effect would be catastrophic.
We owe a lot to bees, and there are little things that people can do to help their numbers grow. By shopping local and organic, you’re reducing the carbon footprint of your produce and avoiding contributing to the pesticides that are harming bees. Being sure to purchase ethical honey has a large effect too, and it feels great knowing the honey on your table is made by happy, healthy bees.