It is not esoteric knowledge that the actions of humans of earth, our interference with the systems of the natural world in particular, have lead to wide-spread ecological destruction and irreversible damage to the biological environment. With all the talk of changing weather phenomenon and mindless destruction of the rainforests, there is another environmental concern that has come to the forefront – the steady and largely unexplained disappearance of honey bees from farms and croplands all around the world.
One might enquire why the disappearance of a certain nectar-producing insect garnering so much attention from farmers, scientists, and activists alike. Let’s brush up your knowledge about the role that bees play in maintaining the sustainability of the environment.
Their role in pollination
In simple words, bees are pollinators for a wide variety of plants and animals. This means that they help in the transfer of pollens from the male to female parts, thus leading to fertilization and growth of crops. While there are some plants that are capable of self-pollinating, almost 80% of vegetables and fruit rely on bees to play nature’s cupid. Without the pollinating action of bees, the world is liable to come face to face with dire food crisis.
The Ominous Disappearances
Around 2006, reports of bee colonies collapsing without any apparent reason started surfacing which threw the issue into the limelight in front of the entire world. Since then, several surveys and research studies have been done in order to understand the problem better and being conservation plans into effect.
Three research studies released around 2012 narrowed down the cause of their declining numbers to neonicotinoids, a very popular class of pesticides that can be dangerous for the functioning of bees. Studies after that have also linked their decline to intensive agriculture that is known to contribute to lower biodiversity.
While it’s true that India doesn’t have mono-cropping on a scale similar to Europe or North America, but many of its farmers are known to practice intensive agriculture. Some other causes of the disappearance of bees can be the unscientific extraction of honey from beehives by untrained individuals, the forest of mobile towers that have cropped up at regular intervals which emit harmful radioactive waves
What Can We Do?
This question can be approached in numerous ways. One of the most important steps that we must take is to ensure that we don’t indulge in activities that directly harm bee colonies or pose a threat to beehives. While beekeeping might not be a practical solution for many, those with a special affinity towards the natural environment can definitely look into it in a safe manner.
Keeping in mind the environmental issues at hand, Biopod has recently launched a Bee Mode to facilitate beekeeping. This app-controlled ecosystem can be set to the required mode and the various factors like temperate, humidity, and aeration etc. will be tweaked to promote bee health. Be good to bees because if they go, so do we!