Column: Life on Earth

By Elle Storoe and Mia Currie

Environmental Awareness: being aware of the events occurring in the environment. Environmental awareness can help us save the planet. This column on The Talon is designed to help readers become aware of what is going on in the environment and how we can help the Earth 

This week’s topic: Bees  

Bees are essential to human survival
Photo courtesy of Susan Thanavaro

Bees handle our crops and plants. They are responsible for around $30 billion in crops each year. Bees help pollinate the crops and plants that we eat and are the main reason we are alive and thriving. If bees become extinct, scientific research suggests the human population would have four years left to live. We are already heading there, as the population of bees continues to decrease. According to National Geographic, “New research using a massive dataset found that the insects are far less common than they used to be; in North America, you are nearly 50 percent less likely to see a bumblebee in any given area than you were prior to 1974.” Some types of bees are already endangered. In large part, the decline is due to climate change, pesticides, habitat loss, and even cell phones. With areas becoming warmer, the bees are becoming less abundant, having either migrated permanently or having died off. Pesticides kill bees and the more pesticides humans use, the less pollination can occur by the bees. Building more cities and getting rid of the vegetation, their home, is killing them off. Cell phone signals can mess with the bees and get them lost and confused. With the bees becoming less, we need to do more to help them.  

How we can help: 

Creating better environments for the bees will help, such as planting flowers, trees, and even shrubs in the urban areas and local parks. Keeping flowerbeds or potted flowers in your yard, or even porch can help. Try to avoid pesticides, so the bees can help pollinate. Avoid companies that treat bees poorly, such as the companies who take honey away from the bees and put it into your local grocery store.