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Decline of Bees from Climate Change: How Africa Can Provide A Solution
The population of bees suffers from a decline in Europe and North America. The solution may come from an unlikely source - Africa. Read to find out how.
Bee experts in Europe report a downturn in the number of bees. They report a fall in the quantity of bees in colonies, with the process going on over the past seventeen years. They report the need to protect the species, to prevent its numbers from plunging into an oblivion, and ultimately allowing bees to be lost forever. They report that frameworks protecting insects such as bees and wasps fail, unable to really help nature’s major pollinators, raising questions about the impact of bees’ decline on the pollination of wild plants and flowers, as well as issues bordering on broader ecological and economic consequences.
Twenty thousand distinct bee species abound in the world, with over 4,000 in the United States. Unfortunately, 25 percent fewer bees appeared in the records of museums recently. Twenty-five percent fewer bees showed up in naturalists’ observations in the period between 2006 and 2015, compared to the period between 1946 and 1995. Twenty-five percent fewer bees appeared, meaning an irreversible extinction took place, or thousands of bees suddenly became rare, or relocated, but no matter the explanation, the condition leaves many perplexed.
African bees, Credit: Premium Times
Sure, some African countries face challenges related to bees. Kenya once exported honey. Kenya once boasted a thriving honey trade, with bees abundant within its borders. Kenya once enjoyed harboring bees, before things turned wrong, now making it a honey-importing country. However, the situation doesn’t persist everywhere on the African continent. Largely, bees in the coastal areas of Nigeria live a thriving life. African bees live in the wild, still enjoying their totally natural forests. In short, African bees look healthy, carrying on their work as ecosystem engineers, modifying their environment to make it palatable to numerous other creatures, influencing their world in numerous ways, surviving the onslaught of so many negative factors, including climate change.
African bees survive the climate change. They look healthy through the climate change, able to provide a safe shelter for an array of microfauna. They exist in a mutually beneficial manner with pseudoscorpions, spiders, beetles, earwigs, flies, wax-moth, ants, wasps, and lizards, sharing the same nest sites, the same rocks, or the same tree cavities, even during the period of climate change. The 4,000 species in the United States, as well as the bees living in colonies in Europe, need to survive the climate change like African bees, or be made to survive the climate change, or they might be lost forever, victims of the onslaught of so many factors, including the climate change.
A dead bee, Credit: Salon.com
Habitat fragmentation leads to the decline of bees. The use of pesticides leads to the decline of bees, especially the increased use of neonicotinoid pesticides. The issue of colony collapse disorder also leads to the decline of nature’s most efficient pollinators, putting the furry insects into a state of perils, causing them to be under the great threat of extinction. And, of course, climate change causes the decline of bees, placing them under so much pressure in some parts of the world, that humans could also find themselves under pressure, in danger of losing crops such as coffee, apples, almonds, tomatoes, and cocoa, just a few of the crops relying on pollination. On seeing bees faced with habitat fragmentation and climate change and colony collapse disorder, experts have become so perplexed that due to the level of perplexity they no longer find the decline of bees perplexing.
A pollinating bee, Credit: DW.com
Bees make a massive difference in the pollination of crops we eat. They make such a massive difference that a colony of bees can pollinate 300 flowers per day, with 75 percent of the world’s crops surviving on pollination. They make such a massive difference that in North America alone, they assist in the production of at least 90 crops, with many animals depending on the insect for their existence, because their foods such as nuts berries, seeds, fruits, and others owe their existence to bees.
Through bees’ abilities to pollinate, they also make flora growths possible. With floral growths, small animals get their shelter. With floral growths, insects get a place to exist, allowing them to procreate, a place to suck nuts and seeds and berries. With floral growths, birds get the opportunity of having a habitat, making foods available for them, getting the freedom to multiply, providing them with the ability to survive in a world rendered dangerous by climate change and habitat loss and desertification and so many other factors.
Bees not only provide for flora growths, they impact on our food supply. One-third of the world’s food supply depend on bees. One-third of the world’s food supply, calculated at a value of $577 dollars, relies on the activities of bees, on their ability to pollinate. One-third of the food supply in Asia, Latin America, North America, Europe, Australasia, and Africa depends on bees, with their pollination contributing a lot to United States’ agriculture industry, billions of dollars to other countries.
Bees and birds, Credit: ca.audubon.org
With the contribution of bees, floral growths become possible. Bees also provide the opportunity for humanity’s survival, by impacting on food supply, since a third of the global food chain depends on these pollinators. They also provide a habitat for birds and other animals, giving these animals an opportunity to gain shelter, an opportunity to survive climate change. When an animal provides such valuable services, it then becomes imperative for its survival and existence to be guaranteed, or the world loses if deprived of its contributions.
Beewax as a work of art in Australia, Credit: ResearchGate
The Australians used beeswax to create works of art. The ancient Greeks saw bees as a mark of immortality, weaving myths around them in their cultural beliefs. In the 19th century, Americans spoke to their bees, telling them about events to happen or events that have happened or events happening. As for experts in the field of history, bees play a big part in learning about the past, because beeswax allows for chemical fingerprints, a means to separate elements in an organic object.
In truth, not all bees produce honey, but many associate bees with its production. However, honey occupies a place of importance in making people healthy. Honey occupies a place of importance because it’s a natural sweetener, and this serves as a medicinal property for healthy living. Honey occupies a place of importance because it possesses antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer elements, enabling it to be used for problems such as asthma and others.
Apart from the use of beeswax to create works of art, the product plays a big role in waterproofing. It plays a big role in the production of skincare products, and it can be used in the making of ointments. It plays a big role in the health sector too, with people utilising it for treatments, right from the time of the ancient Greeks till today.
The ancient Greeks saw bees as very important. The Americans who spoke to bees, the New Englanders, knew bees were important, a reason they told them about events happening. The Australians also saw bees as significant, if not they won’t revere beeswax so much as to use it to create works of art, to use it to search for immortality. If ancient Greeks and New Englanders and Australians see bees as such important creatures, and people all over the world see bees as important, then the need to halt the decline of the insects should also be seen as important.
Perhaps other places should emulate the African example. African bees don’t live in boxes. Bees in the coastal areas of Nigeria don’t live in human-made structures, like bees in other countries of the developed world do. African bees live in the wild, enjoying their natural habitat, with experts saying this diverse habitat with its complex interactions help African bees to be resilient. African bees deal with pathogens and illnesses without human interference, and they can only accomplish this because they remain in their wild environment, because they remain in their natural space, because they remain free from human interference.
Spraying bees with pesticides, Credit:Entonation.com
Pesticides kill bees. Pesticides decimate bees, and along with the rising temperature from climate change, they could be the species’ biggest threats in this period of transition. Pesticides represent a threat to honeybees, chasing them out of their hiding places, almost driving them to a point of extinction in some parts of the world, making them to become rare, raising fears about human’s food supply when bees have been forced to become extinct.
For bees not to become extinct in places where they are challenged, the banning of pesticides should be continued. To save bees from habitat loss, Europe and North America should go the African way, allowing bees to survive in the wild, where they won’t be disturbed by human interference. For many researchers, allowing for a habitat-protection programme, combined with best practices in farming as related to promoting biodiversity, as well as restoring the habitats of bees should be carried out. With an African way of looking at bees and the restoration of their habitats and a protection programme, beekeepers in endangered places will stop reporting about the downturn in the number of bees.