If bees were to go extinct it definitely wouldn’t go unnoticed. Bees are probably the most important insect pollinator in the world. They pollinate over one-third of the crops that feed the world population. Without bees, we’d lose about half of the food found in the produce section of grocery stores.
Unfortunately, bee populations are already in decline. Over the past 12 years, the honeybee population has declined by 45%. Bees help maintain harmony on Earth and without them, many plants and animals, including ourselves, would struggle. Let’s just say that if we lost bees, we’d lose a lot more than your favorite organic beeswax candles.
Not sure of the importance of bees in your life? Keep reading for 5 things we’d lose if we lost bees.
1. You can forget about eating the rainbow.
Flowering plants have coevolved with bees, meaning bees are their main pollinators and without them, these plants could go extinct as well. Take blueberry bushes and cherry trees for example. They rely on bees for 90% of their pollination. Without bees, we wouldn’t have the fruits and vegetables we need to maintain a balanced, nutrient-rich diet.
2. Farmers would be at a loss.
Did you know that bees do about 15 billion dollars worth of work in the form of pollinating for farmers every year? Scientists are looking for robotic alternatives such a drone pollinators, but nothing comes close to the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of bees.
3. Healthy food would become even more out of reach.
As a result of farmers having to spend more money on producing food, low-income families would have an even harder time accessing healthy food at a price they could afford.
4. The effect will be felt all the way up the food chain.
Bees pollinate plants that common prey animals such as mice eat. Without those plants there would be no mice and without mice, there would be no food for predators such as hawks and coyotes. Entire food chains could collapse.
5. Love it or hate it, dairy would be hard to come by.
Dairy cows are mostly fed alfalfa and bees are the primary pollinator of the alfalfa plant. Without bees, there wouldn’t be enough food to sustain the dairy cows and therefore no dairy products.