WHY SHOULD WE BE CONCERNED ABOUT THE DEATH OF BEES?
May 20 is World BEE Day!
At EKOLOJI, the decline in the bee population worries us. We also noticed their absence in our gardens this spring.
This is why on this Bee Day, we invite you to discover why bees are so precious and why they are threatened and above all what we can do to support the colonies.
So why are Bees important?
It takes more than soil, water and sun for plants and flowers to grow. At least 30% of the world's crops and 90% of all plant species require cross-pollination to propagate and thrive.
Here in Canada, bees are our most important pollinators.
As pollinators, bees play a role in all aspects of the ecosystem. They encourage the growth of trees, flowers and other plants, which provide food and shelter for creatures large and small.
In the field of textiles, bees are also essential to the production of conventional and organic cotton, as well as other natural fibers such as linen. So it's to bees that we owe our good old jeans and our favorite little linen dress.
With pollination, bees contribute to complex and interdependent ecosystems that allow a large number of species to coexist.
But, what kills bees?
For the past ten years or so, we have been observing a significant decline in the number of bees, here and around the world. And knowing the great usefulness of bees, this is particularly alarming.
The causes of this situation are very varied, but the main factors are :
- Diseases and parasites, such as destructive varroa, nosema disease and viral infections;
- Urban sprawl , which reduces their natural habitats and food sources;
- Intensive agriculture which impoverishes the diversity and quality of their diet;
- The massive use of pesticides which affect the physiology of the bee and consequently the survival of the colonies (disruption of their behavior, disorientation and reduction of their reflexes).
Unfortunately, the textile industry is a large user of dangerous pesticides . According to the WHO, it drains around 10% of the pesticides used, while it only uses 3% of cultivated land. Traditional textile production contributes directly to the problem .
Faced with all these dangers, the bee is powerless. This is why we are seeing a gradual but constant disappearance of their colonies, whether domestic or wild.
So what can we do to help the Bees?
If we are aware that protecting our environment and promoting sustainable development is a priority, we must naturally take measures to save the bees.
The good news is that there are simple ways to help bee populations bounce back.
- Native flowers and plants can be planted and sown that will provide the habitat and food sources that bees need. The more we plant, the more we provide bees with the resources they need to survive .
- We wait until June to cut your grass. Spring flowers like dandelions and clover help the local pollinator population at a time of year when nectar sources can be very scarce.
- If we have space, we install a hotel or a hive for bees in our garden.
- We especially avoid pesticides and insecticides .
- We turn to certified pesticide-free products – At EKOLOJI, we only use certified organic cotton OEKO-TEX ® which guarantees production without dangerous chemicals and fertilizer.
Today it is more important than ever to pay attention to our consumption choices and our actions. Sustainable development does not only concern producers or beekeepers. It starts with us.
The survival of bees depends on it.
7 Little Fun Facts about Bees!
1- Bees pollinate up to 170,000 species of plants.
2- Only female bees can sting. Male bees do not have stings.
3- A honey bee beats its wings 200 times per second - this is what creates the buzzing sound we hear.
4- Bees communicate through a series of dance movements.
5- Each colony has a distinctive smell that allows members to recognize each other.
6- There are 20,000 different species of bees in the world! But only one species stores enough honey to be harvested: the honey bee!
7- Honey was found in tombs in Egypt, and it was still edible!
Bees are certainly fascinating creatures, and we are learning more about them every day.
They are essential to biodiversity and bring undeniable benefits to humans, plants and the environment.
And you? What are you going to do to get bees back into your garden?