Bees worth more than extermination


Art by Sarah McDermott

Many people fear them. Others consider them a nuisance. But believe it or not: these yellow-and-black insects are actually our friends…and they need our help.

Yes, you heard me right: bees are our companions. It is because of bees that flowering plants can flourish, several vegetables and fruits can be grown, and honey can be bought at our local grocery stores.

According to studies found by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, bees “affect 35 percent of the world’s crop production, increasing outputs of 87 of the leading food crops worldwide as well as many plant-derived medicines.” That’s right–bees play a role in the production of medicine. They also keep beekeepers occupied and are good for agricultural business.

So why do the bees need to be saved? The Natural Resources Defense Council claims that bees are disappearing due to a problem known as Colony Collapse Disorder. This is caused by the use of pesticides and other chemicals on farms, the loss of habitat due to construction and pollution, and the effect global warming has on blooming flowers.

How can we help our fuzzy, flying friends? Well, if you don’t have the time or motivation to become a beekeeper, there are still plenty of ways you can contribute. By planting a garden with plants that can be pollinated by bees, buying local honey, constructing your own beehive, or simply not killing every bee in sight, we can unite together and save the bees.