Save bees, save humanity

The future of humanity relies on pollinators’ population. The burgeoning population of the world is estimated to cross the 9 billion mark by 2050. Today, around 800 million people across the world go to bed hungry. Pollinators play a crucial role in food and nutritional security. When it comes to pollinators, bees top the chart, which pollinate around 70 of the 100 species of crops that feed 90 per cent of the world. According to a BBC report, honey bees are responsible for $30 billion a year in crops.

If all the honey bees die out, it could mean losing all the plants they pollinate. This could lead to severe food crisis in the world.

Honey bees are today facing trials and tribulations. They are facing threats — both natural and manmade. They are beset with the pests and disease, harmful chemical pesticides used for protecting plants from plants pests and climate change.

With rapid urbanisation and commercialisation of agriculture to meet the demand of growing population of the world, there is growing tendency to use chemicals and pesticides in agriculture. Bees that come into contact of such chemicals are showing many abnormalities including convulsions, reduction in foraging capacity and damage of wings. Excessive chemicals in their bodies are resulting in deaths of honey bees.

Microscopic mites like Acarapiswoodi and Varroa mites have emerged as the main adversaries of the bees. Acarapiswoodi invades the trachea of honey bees. They live and reproduce in the trachea of bees and weaken them. Similarly, Varroa mites are also affecting bee population. Varroa mites are external parasites that attack both honey bees and brood. They suck the blood from both the adults and developing brood, especially drone brood. Honey bees are also prone to the effect of climate change. The change in the season delays the blossoming of the flower, which is the chief source of nectar. This leads to a dearth of nutrition for the bees, affecting their growth and development which ultimately affects the colony performance and might lead to the absconding of the bees from the colony.

There is need to reduce use of toxic pesticides. To prevent further aggravating of the situation, areas with proper foraging is most. The world as a matter of fact is losing bees at an alarming rate. It is high time the world saved bees to save humanity.