This is for I in the A-Z Blogging Challenge 2012. Link in the sidebar.
Bees are awesome creatures, not only do they produce honey, but along with mosquitoes, dragonflies and other insects, they assist in the pollination of grains as well as fruit trees and vegetables. We’re reliant on them all and they’re vital for the continued health of our ecosystems and crops!
Of concern to bee keepers and agriculturalists is the fact that bee populations are in decline. It’s understood that they’ve been stressed by a combination of factors including pesticides, disease, parasites, and human mismanagement.
Whilst many smaller scale farmers are keenly in touch with their crops and animals, and work the land sustainably, others are of such a vast scale and appear to have little interest in long term sustainable practises. Land that in former times would have supported a variety of crops and then allowed to lie fallow to be enriched with organic matter such as blood and bone is now stripped and forced to produce crops reliant on artificial fertilisers season after season.
Vast tracts of land are planted with a single type of seed which has been impregnated with toxic herbicides and pesticides. As the crops grow, some of the insecticide remains and the bees collect pollen which contains remnants of the initial dose of insecticide as well as toxic sprays. This pollen is then taken back to the hive to feed the larvae and to make honey.
Not only do insects including butterflies and wasps pollinate crops and blossoms, but others help aerate soil when they tunnel, which helps water get to plant roots. They also decompose dead and rotting material as happens in a compost bin or worm farm. Insects play a vital role in enabling life to continue on Earth. Without them, in all their buggy glory, we and many other birds, reptiles and animals wouldn’t be able to survive.
When species by species they become extinct, we are threatening our very survival.
Sir David Attenborough says “If we and the rest of the backboned animals were to disappear overnight, the rest of the world would get on pretty well. But if the invertebrates were to disappear, the world’s ecosystems would collapse.’ And when the world’s ecosystmes collapse, we die, it's that simple.
Last year I wrote about International students and others for I in my theme of workplace bullying. Here.