As bee populations continue to dwindle, concerns about what will happen after one of the world’s most important pollinators vanish without a trace are running high. Worldwide, bee species are finding themselves on “endangered” lists, with total extinction getting closer. Even in the U.S., native species like the rusty patched bumble bee is teetering “on the brink of extinction.” Without bees, humanity’s days will be numbered. And when mass extinction faces the human race, we’ll have no one to blame but ourselves.
Bees don’t just make honey; as pollinators, they contribute to our own food-growing efforts. Without them, the food supply would suffer indefinitely. And studies have shown that the pollinating efforts of bumblebees are virtually irreplaceable.
Extinction spells disaster
Approximately one-third of the food we eat is pollinated by insects — and bees are responsible for 80 percent of that pollination activity. Some of the crops we enjoy thanks to bees include: apples, blueberries, cherries, cranberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, kiwi, plums melons, cucumber, tomatoes, peppers, onions, potatoes, squash, pumpkin, zucchini, alfalfa and green beans.
Further, bees help pollinate food grown for livestock. Without them, produce availability for both humans and animals will drop.
Ultimately, this means bee extinction would be felt across the food industry, and not just the produce section.
There are 20,000 known species of bees; the winged insects are found on every continent (with the exception of Antarctica) — and an increasing number of them are finding themselves on the fast track to total decimation. In 2016, seven species of Hawaiian beeswere put on the endangered species list.