In a debate of the Royal Geographical Society of London, the Earthwatch Institute concluded that bees are the most important living being on the planet.
The audience heard from five eminent scientists who battled it out for fungi, bats, plankton, primates, and bees.
All of these species are, without a doubt, invaluable for our ecosystem, but the debate was designed to raise awareness about conservation by asking the audience to vote for just one of the species to receive a fictitious cheque for one trillion pounds to be spent on their conservation.
The audience voted to save the bees.
An initial vote put Professor David Thomas in the lead with plankton, followed by Dr. George McGavin representing bees. Then, both were each given another five minutes to win over support for their species – and everything changed.
Professor Thomas presented a superb summing up, but the winner, Dr. McGavin, won the day with his persuasive argument, explaining how one quarter of a million species of flowering plants depend on bees, many species are crucial to world agriculture, and without them, we would lose flowering plants, as well as numerous fruit and vegetables.
Among the major causes of bee declines are habitat loss and fragmentation, increasing the use of insecticides, and diseases.
Namely, 70% of our food supply relies on bees, and the pollination they make allows the reproduction of plants, which are in turn, food for millions of animals.
About 250,000 species of flowering plants depend on bees for pollination, any of which are vital for world agriculture.
Bees increase the yields of around 90 crops, including apples, blueberries, and cucumbers by up to 30%, so in a world without bees, many fruits and vegetables would become scarce and prohibitively expensive.
Moreover, numerous medicines, both conventional and alternative remedies, come from flowering plants.
Cotton is another essential product pollinated by the bee.
On the other hand, a lot of birds and small mammals feed off the berries and seeds that rely on bee pollination, so if they die of hunger, their predators – the omnivores or carnivores that continue the food chain, would starve as well.
According to Dr. George McGavin:
“Bee populations are in freefall. A world without bees would be totally catastrophic.”
Therefore, the Earthwatch audience should be applauded for heading his call and voting to save them, and the entire planet with it.
A study conducted by the Apiculture Entrepreneurship Center of the Universidad Mayor (CeapiMayor) and the Apiculture Corporation of Chile (Cach) with the support of the Foundation for Agrarian Innovation (FIA) found that the bee is the only living being that it is not a carrier of any type of pathogen, regardless of whether it is a fungus, a virus or a bacterium.
Additionally, the honey they produce is an invaluable natural product that offers countless health benefits. The honey produced by bees, not only serves as food, but also provide many benefits to our health and our skin.
Albert Einstein once said that in case the bees disappear, “humans would have 4 years to live.”
Unfortunately, recent studies show a dramatic decline of the bees’ number as almost 90 percent of the bee population has disappeared in the last few years. The main causes include massive deforestation, lack of safe places for nests, lack of flowers, the uncontrolled use of herbicides and pesticides, and changes in the soil.
Lately, people started to realize the importance of the bees and many animal rights groups are trying their best for the conservation of the species, and numerous celebrities have also joined the cause.
Even though the harmful practices are entrenched in production and agriculture, there are ways in which we could save the bees, and these are the main guidelines:
- Prohibit, not reduce, the use of toxic pesticides.
- Promote completely natural agricultural alternatives.
- Perform constant research and monitoring of the health, welfare, and conservation of bees.