Three years ago, the United Nations (UN) established World Honeybees Day to prevent further extinction, saying that about 8,000 of the 20,000 species of honeybees in the world are endangered.
Many experts say there are many reasons for the threat of extinction. There are several reasons, but the main ones are climate change, the use of pesticides, and the outbreak of new viruses.
An extinction of honeybees would cause great damage to the cultivation of provisions around the world. According to The Financial Times, one-third of the world’s food cultivation is helped by the pollination of bees. Especially, foods such as almonds, blueberries, and apples cannot be grown without honeybees.
In the end, because of how the principle of the food chain works, humanity, which is at the top of the chain system, would eventually suffer, so multiple countries are working on projects to save bees.
First of all, in Korea, the government is implementing a policy to protect honeybees by designating Asian hornets as the ecological disturbance species. A social venture, Urban Bees Seoul, has also emerged, making bee gardens around the city.
In addition, this company created a ‘honey bee rescue team’. The rescue team is equipped with a system in which when firefighters are called to remove hives, they save honeybees and move them to the bee farms in downtown Seoul.
There are also various movements abroad to protect honeybees. According to the British daily, The Guardian, Andrew Whitehouse, a Countries Manager at Buglife, has made many efforts towards making a ‘Bee Line’, where insects have pathways of wildflowers across the country.
Through this line, people are making efforts to preserve the honeybees’ habitats and species. Similarly, in Mexico, sunflowers are planted to provide the shelter for bees.
In 2015, the European Union (EU) banned pesticides containing ‘neonicotinoid’, a substance harmful to bees. In the U.S., the Obama administration announced it would identify the seriousness of bee extinction and create a national policy to protect them.
Such a disappearance of honeybees would disrupt food cultivation, which could lead to economic losses for the nation. It is clear that there would be bad effects on animals and humans.
“If the bees disappeared, a man would have only four years of a life left”, Albert Einstein said, showing the close relationship between humans and honeybees.
Therefore, people should regard bees as creatures of high importance, and we have the obligations to protect them.