We all owe a hearty thanks to the honey bee
by Greg Long
You might not realize it, but we owe just about everything to the humble honeybee. You may not like the thought of being stung by a swarm of insects. However, most crops within the United States are pollinated by bees, adding millions of dollars to our nation’s economy every year. We should show our respect for honey bees for one out of every three bites of food we eat. Without them, we’d no longer have our favorite fruits, vegetables, and nuts — not to mention honey.
Tragically, the likelihood of bees becoming extinct is quite high. Thanks to a phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder, bees are disappearing at an alarming rate. Beekeepers now estimate that one-third of American bee populations have vanished as a result of climate change, habitat loss, and pesticide use. And it’s not happening just in the United States, either; the problem is worldwide.
What does that mean for us?
Basically, if the bees die off, we’ll cease to exist, too. A bee-free planet cannot possibly support millions of humans and other animals. And even if we found alternative sources of food to survive, some of our favorite natural aphrodisiacs will be gone forever. We’ll bid goodbye to avocados, raspberries, and coffee. Worse yet, honey — one of the most historic and romantic ingredients around — will be a forgotten memory. That could mean a major disruption for your love life.
The nectar of the bees has long-since been considered to be a titillating ingredient. It’s sometimes considered to be a symbol of fertility and a happy marriage (hence the word “honeymoon”). Learn more about honey’s aphrodisiac benefits.
But unless we take steps to protect our pollinators and show some respect for honey bees, we might lose this and other foods for good. Countless flowers, trees, and other flora will be gone, as well. And of course, the animals that depend on these plants for survival will be at risk, too. A world without bees will spell disaster for all living creatures.
What can we do about it?
We’ve got to support our area bee populations. That may mean taking a pledge to eliminate harmful insecticide use in your home garden or to shop locally and organically. You might want to plant some native wildflowers and hold off on your yard weeding for a while. You could also support beekeepers in your town by purchasing local honey. (As a bonus, that last option may help clear up your allergies and give you a reason to cozy up to your own honey!) You can even petition to make your hometown a Bee City to demonstrate your commitment to sustainability and helping the bees survive.
You may never have given much thought to how the declining bee population might affect you. But unless we step in, our love lives — and our lives in general — will be just as threatened as theirs. If you want to continue getting a buzz from edible aphrodisiacs, you might want to consider making some small changes to ensure the bees are welcome on your property and in your community.
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