THE IMPORTANCE OF BEES IN OUR ECOSYSTEM

Surely, by now, as a budding beekeeper, you will have become aware of the ongoing and worsening spectres of global warming and climate change. It seems as though every year one COP meeting after another yields next to nothing but does create a great cacophonic chorus of paper shuffling and stapling together of perceived important documents on deals done behind closed doors. This hullabaloo and polluting noise is hardly attractive to bees, one of the most vital species required to both preserve and improve our earth’s rapidly declining ecosystems.

I read somewhere the other day that the famous scientist, Albert Einstein, once remarked that once the bees’ ecosystems crumble, we as humans can expect to see our end within four years after the collapse of bee colonies from around the world. It was words to that effect that were highlighting the drama of seeing our bees become extinct. As things stand now, many flora, fauna and insect species are either threatened, endangered or veering dangerously close to obliteration. Frighteningly, the bees are now very much under threat.

In certain parts of the world where there were illustrious colonies, they are no more. Bees either had to migrate to more habitable climates and surroundings conducive to good breeding and living conditions, or simply could not react quickly enough to man’s rapid urbanisation and industrialisation by way of clearing vast tracts of natural, green land, so vital for helping to reduce the earth’s excessively high carbon dioxide levels. The Amazon rain forests are probably the most famous examples of this destruction by humankind.

Little or nothing is being done to either curb or halt these excesses. It still hasn’t got through to those bean counters sitting in high ivory towers just how reckless their behaviour is. Or are they all hell-bent on mass suicide in favour of enjoying their filthy lucre and ill-gotten gains for just a few more years at the expense of all others and everything else? That’s what it seems like to me. Our behaviour, yes, we are all culpable, just does not make any sense. I for one would like to continue living a healthy and wholesome and happy life for a great many years still to come.

I think that it’s great that we are enthusiastic about our hobby of beekeeping. Taking up this hobby could not have come at a better (or worse, depending on how you view the bigger picture) time. Here we are, just getting started, watching our beloved honeybees make their way through our modest gardens and into their kindly looked after and carefully prepared hives. Our modest little habit and surroundings could just end up saving the lives of bees in entirety. We could even end up saving the world as we know it, but with drastic required modifications in areas of our lives and on our planet that are in serious decline.

This post on the importance of bees in our ecosystem sets the right tone to raise awareness. It is not alone and, I’m happy to say, it has been proudly subjective and original for most of the way. Because, true to say, there are now dozens of other blogs and non-governmental websites on the go raising awareness and telling us how we can save the earth’s ecosystems by way of focusing more attention on the bees’ own living environments. David Suzuki remains one of my favourite ecologists. On the one hand, he necessarily raises the alarm bells, just as I have endeavoured to do here.

But then his voice and prose turns wholly positive. He still believes that it’s worthwhile getting up every morning to help save and preserve our bees. Three cheers for David Suzuki on that one. He still believes that our future can be very green and bright. Imagine living in a world where there is no pollution and the clear air that we breathe in every morning smells and tastes fresh. Bees are thirsty creatures too. Who wouldn’t be after working such long shifts as they do? One of the most marvellous sites from the garden is being able to witness a single honeybee taking a sip of water from a precious dewdrop sitting precariously on a plant’s leaf early in the morning.

Such sights are rare, I might add, but it makes you think on just how precious life is, and that it’s well worth the effort of preserving, never mind just reaping in all the spoils and selfishly hoarding it for ourselves. Health advocates are becoming more and more vocal about the inherent benefits of using pure honey. The war against white sugar and its vast inorganic crops is growing stronger and stronger every day. But I am not entirely sure just how sincere governments in the main are about imposing sugar taxes to wean poor people off their sweet habits.

All I see ahead of me is yet another devious scheme to line already bulging pockets. The so-called sugar taxes should be spent entirely on uplifting the poor. More importantly, it should go towards preserving the bees’ ecosystems and where they have already collapsed, reintroduce them. White sugar crops must go. If they don’t, they can at least be reduced in size to make way for other more important and healthy necessities. Trouble with this little scheme of mine is that I would not want to establish new bee colonies anywhere near these harmful sugar cane fields.

The delectable taste of sugar is just too difficult to resist, even for disciplined and hard-working bees. Concerns continue to be raised about why organic food, including raw honey (and even refined honey) remains so expensive and thus out of reach of the poor. Let’s turn this conundrum on its head by inviting the poor to start up their own honey farms and save themselves while saving our bees. I’d be happy to be part of such an enterprise, wouldn’t you?