My Voice: Bee Conservation

   Conservation is very important. Personally, I am passionate about the pollinators. In fact, I am currently working on planting a pollinator garden (a garden full of native plants to attract and aid pollinators) at a local library in order to help this cause.

   The main species of pollinator is the honey bee. Without them, over half of our food supply would be completely gone.

   Imagine your general grocery store with only half of the products on the shelves – this is what our world would look like without bees.

   Some of the main causes of pollinator population decline are pesticide/herbicide use, monocrops, urbanization and parasites, among many others.

   In my opinion, one of the largest problems is the general public’s lack of knowledge on the issue.

   However, even though it is becoming a more widely discussed topic, people still don’t do what they can to help out. Even the smallest of contributions to the cause add up, and everyone should do their part!

   One main problem contributing to the dying pollinators is pesticide and herbicide use. Although the majority of people purchase their produce (fruits, vegetables, etc.) from a grocery store, some also grow it themselves.

   When growing their own produce, many individuals and farmers use pesticides/herbicides in order to ward off insects from eating and ruining their yield.

   However, the effectiveness of this method is due to a harmful chemical called neonicotinoids. This chemical is detrimental to pollinators and their health. Luckily, there are ways to protect the plants, even without neonicotinoids.

   One way people can accomplish this is by purchasing organic produce. It ensures that these harmful pesticides were not used in the growth of the plant.

   However, not everyone can afford to buy organic produce. So, even if you can’t make this lifestyle change, it is helpful to know how you may help and limit your non-organic purchases.

   Another way to help the bees is to plant native plants. Native plants are plants are indigenous to a specific region or area. Monocrops, which are large-scale agricultural crops, are made up of only one species and destroy the paths of pollination.

   In order for bees and other pollinators to have sufficient food sources, there must be a certain level of biodiversity in a small enough area. When monocrops take over,  biodiversity suffers, and so does the pollinators.

   This results in malnutrition, which leads to poor immune system health, which then leads to more and more bees and other pollinators not making it through the winter.

   So, by planting native plants, you help provide the pollinators not only with better nutrition, but better habitats.

   Without pollinators our ecosystem could collapse, as bees are an essential part of the food chain.

   We must do everything we can to keep them thriving. I hope everyone is now inspired to do what they can for bee conservation!

Anwen Harris

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