Hail and well met, friends. I do hope you are well. That the sun is shining, even just for a short time, the birds chirping and the bees buzzing happily. As spring arrives in the northern hemisphere and autumn approaches in the south, the dynamic of nature is in flux. As spring's presence becomes stronger, temperatures rising, flowers appearing on previously dormant plants, it is all the more evident that pollinators are a necessity. By far the most well-known and most wide-spread is the bee.
"The bee collects honey from flowers in such a way as to do the least damage or destruction to them, and he leaves them whole, undamaged and fresh, just as he found them." Saint Francis de Sales
There are many species of bees, though the most well known is the honey bee, Apis Mellifera, the species that tend to suffer most from Colony Collapse Disorder, in which either suddenly or gradually, the population of the hives in an area significantly decrease. Often, this is connected to the presence of pesticides within the flight range of said hives. While there are many species that act as pollinators and in some regions the honey bee, usually called the European honey bee, is not native, it has taken on the role of a significant pollinator. Just as other species are more suited to pollinating certain plants, so too is the bee, in all their various sizes.
It is estimated that should Colony Collapse continue at its current rate, there may be other species who can and sometimes do step in, but many bee-specific food crops are and will continue to be negatively impacted. While many plant species are either self-pollinating or wind-pollinated, bees also serve as indicators of a region's health.
As they are susceptible to toxins, these small Apidae are sometimes seen as the veritable canary in the coal mine for the rest of the environment, often because they are more prominently visible than other species. In short, while the planet might well survive without these small creatures, we as a species have been given a wake-up call. It is not too late to turn back humanity's last several decades of environmental trauma, but we have to actually do it, we have to start and begin as we mean to go on.
Till next time,