There is an animal so crucial to the world’s ecosystem that without it everything would collapse. It represents the power of the symbiotic relationship between all things on Earth. What would you say if you found out this animal was on the brink of extinction? What if I told you it’s an animal you see everyday in your backyard, buzzing around from flower to flower. The honeybee is a vital part of the planet and it’s in serious danger!

Bees are so incredibly important because they are master pollinators. Plants rely on them to carry their seeds and increase their numbers. This relationship is crucial to the survival of many plants. But for some unknown reason bees are dying out. 90% of the wild bee population in America is gone. The same goes for places as far as England and the Netherlands. The numbers of wildflowers that depend on bees to pollinate has dropped by 70%!

It isn’t just the wild honeybees that are disappearing. Beekeepers are experiencing what they call Colony Collapse Disorder. Some keepers have lost 80% of their colonies. Many farms rely on bees to pollinate their crops. They pollinate around 15 billion dollars worth of crops just in the US! The disappearance of honeybees doesn’t just affect just the pretty flowers, it affects us too!

Apples, pears, peaches, soybeans, squash, blueberries… the list goes on when it comes to the plants that rely on bees for pollination. In California they’ve had to import bees to pollinate groves of almonds.

The disappearance of the bees sounds like it could come out of a mystery novel. Bees work as a unit to protect and serve their queen. But for some reason bees are simply disappearing from hives leaving the queen behind. The hive is left intact, honey and all. When a colony of bees senses another colony dying nearby they usually attack and take over. But colonies aren’t doing that for some reason.

Nobody has a sure answer for why all these bees are dying in such a short amount of time. It could be diseases that infect the hive or extreme weather changes or pesticides. For wild bees the Varroa mite has wrecked havoc on their population. This is a far-reaching epidemic with no one answer. Scientists are trying to figure out as quickly as possible what is going on and how we can stop it.

Companies such as Haagen-Dazs are spreading the word. You can visit their site at: http://www.helpthehoneybees.com/

Other things you can do include:

Buy local honey, it supports the pollination of the area you live in.

Don’t spray flowering plants with pesticides; they might have a negative affect on bees.

If you ever find a swarm of honeybees around your house call a beekeeper to collect them. Honeybees are so important we need every single one!