THE BEE CAUSE
Our bees are dying
Pollinators, which are necessary for 75% of food crops, are declining globally in both abundance and diversity. Bees, in particular, are thought to be necessary for the fertilization of up to 90% of the world's 107 most important human food crops.
In the UK, there has been a 45% loss of commercial honeybees since 2010 and a third of British wild bees and hoverflies are in decline, according to a study by Dr Gary Powney of the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) in Wallingford, Oxfordshire. The study showed that a third of species experienced declines in terms of areas where they were found. The losses were concentrated among the rarer species, including solitary bees, which live in burrows in the ground, and upland bees, living on mountains and moorlands. If current trends continue, some species will be lost from Britain altogether.
Internationally, 40% of insect species are threatened with extinction, with bees, ants and beetles disappearing eight times faster than mammals, birds or reptiles.
Global Change is needed
On a national and global level, the most important solution is to stop the loss of the wild habitats that pollinators rely on for their food. It will be necessary to restore many human altered landscapes back to a natural state, allowing wild flowers to grow and provide food for bees and other pollinators throughout the year.
Farming will have to change too. There must be a reduction in the intensive cultivation of single crops (monoculture) and the use of insecticides. Biodiversity needs to be promoted and improved, not swept away in an ultimately self defeating quest to achieve maximum productivity through intensive farming.