Cross-pollination helps at least 30 percent of the world's crops and 90 percent of our wild plants to thrive. Without bees to spread pollen, many plants, including food crops, would die off!
"Bees, and other pollinators, play an outsized role in the global agriculture industry. According to a 2016 United Nations report, pollinators drive up to almost 600 billion dollars a year in income globally. But these tiny workers are in trouble. The UN report suggests that roughly two out of five invertebrate pollinators, including bees, are threatened by extinction. As Ricketts and his collaborators reported, models of wild bee abundance show declines of roughly 23 percent across the contiguous U.S. from 2008 to 2013.
Bees face a perfect storm of pressures, reports Charlie Wood for the Christian Science Monitor. Among these challenges are changes in land use, the rise in monocrop agriculture, pesticide use, invasive species, diseases and climate change, according to the UN report. These many factors may also play into colony collapse disorder—which is when the worker bees suddenly disappear from the hive, abandoning queen and nurse bees.
Of all the challenges bees face, the loss of their native habitats may have had the greatest impact, according to this latest study. In regions where bee populations are struggling within 11 key states (areas with the greatest declines), the amount of land converted from grasslands and pastures to corn production spiked by 200 percent in five years. In that same period, native habitats converted for grain production spiked by 100 percent.
Many of the counties experiencing this growth in cropland are also facing increased demands for pollination, creating a mismatch of rising demand and declining wild bee populations.
Ricketts maintains an optimistic perspective that the buzzing pollinators can continue to produce billions of dollars in agricultural income if managed properly. “The good news about bees,” Ricketts says in the press release, “is now that we know where to focus conservation efforts, paired with all we know about what bees need, habitat-wise, there is hope for preserving wild bees.”"
THE "BEE IS FOR BULLITT COUNTY" MISSION
It is our goal to establish healthy honeybee colonies every 2-3 miles in Bullitt County to combat declining honeybee populations, and help educate local farmers and families about the deadly consequences of pesticide use on crops, lawns, and landscaping. Pesticide use is not just an extreme health hazard for humans, but is largely responsible for the declining honeybee population, which ultimately effects the amount of food we have to eat, as well as the available food for the local fauna.
Money from this campaign will be used to pay for the bees, hives, and equipment necessary to begin repopulating the honeybees here in Bullitt county, as well as actively educating the citizens of our wonderful county by taking our pollinator education program into all the schools from K-12, and going directly to the farmers and helping them learn safer farming practices which will be more beneficial to all people and the environment. We are all in this together, your donation is a much appreciated step in the direction of taking responsibility for the well-being of all the people of Bullitt County. No matter who you are, or what your station in life, we all need the bees to survive to better ensure our own survival.
There are several ways to get involved in this initiative:
If you are a land owner who would be willing to let us set up beehives on your property, at no expense or time required from you other than discussing the location of the hives, as well as their benefit to your area, please contact us
You can donate to this lifesaving initiative by clicking the donate button at the top and bottom of this page, or through our crowd funding campaign at https://www.gofundme.com/beeisforbullittcounty
You can also purchase a T-shirt to show your support, and help bring awareness to the plight of our honeybee population by clicking here. Thank you for your participation in this life saving campaign.
We also have corporate sponsorship available. Your business can sponsor a complete hive, including the cost of installing a package of bees with their queen, as well as having your business name on the front of each hive you sponsor. We will also be adding a sponsor and donor page to our website to honor those who are taking positive steps for every citizen of our beautiful county. For only $500 you can sponsor a lifesaving beehive, as well as improve the overall health of our county, and we, along with the bees, do all the work. Contact us today to have your company sponsor a hive.