Bees might bring out a stinging sensation of fear in some, but the little critters play a vital role in our everyday life. Through pollination, bees help produce many of our specialty crops like almonds, berries, fruits and vegetables. It’s estimated that bees are responsible for about one in every three bites of food in the United States. That’s a crop value of $15 billion to $18 billion.
But things are not very sweet in the beehives these days.
In the “Honey Bee-Ware” episode of “Inside Man,” Morgan Spurlock looks into a frightening new trend: the declining bee population. Since the 1940s, honeybee colonies have decreased from 5 million to 2.5 million. Researchers say there could be many reasons for the decline: everything from parasites and bacteria to environmental stress, like a lack of pollen.
There’s good news though. Even if you are not a beekeeper, there are plenty of ways that you can get involved. Laurie Adams, executive director of the Pollinator Partnership, says it is a lot like dieting: “You need to make a commitment and make boring decisions over and over without applause, but eventually you will see the results.”
Check the photo gallery at the top of the article for five easy ways that you can have a positive effect and help make sure the bee population stays abuzz.