To bee or not to bee
Arresting the decline in global bee numbers is essential to earth’s future biodiversity. Giles Crosse examines cause, effect and the importance of these tiny creatures
In an era when environmental degradation seems all around us, it can be hard to judge which areas really deserve your attention. So the humble bee, quietly buzzing about your garden, generally doesn’t rank too high on the list.
In reality, the bee is at the very heart of the complex ecosystems that combine to create a massive proportion of the agriculture that sustains humankind. Recently, global focus is coming to bear on how modern farming systems are putting this fine balance at risk.
The United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) most recent study, ‘Global Bee Colony Disorders and other Threats to Insect Pollinators’, underlines that many dangerous factors are at work, linked with the way humans are rapidly changing the conditions and the ground rules that support life on Earth.
These factors, ranging from declines in flowering plants and the use of memory-damaging insecticides to the worldwide spread of pests and air pollution, may be behind the emerging decline of bee colonies across many parts of the globe. Scientists are warning that without profound changes to the way we manage the planet, the lack of pollinators needed to feed a growing global population is likely to continue.
Find the rest of this article in Palladium Magazine Nro 8
Writer : Giles Crosse / Illustrator : Jean-Baptiste Bourgois