15 reasons why we need honeybees

In northwestern Europe and North America, wild bees are at the highest risk of extinction. Since 2006, bee keepers have been noticing a large decline in their honeybee populations. The reasons for the decline are industrial agriculture, habitat loss, pesticides, climate changes and invasive pathogens or parasites.

Bees and other pollinators are vital contributors to world food production. Our survival depends on them. According to bee expert, Dennis van Engelsdorp: “Everything falls apart if you take pollinators out of the game. If we want to say we can feed the world in 2050, pollinators are going to be part of that.”

This spring season, whilst doing some yard work with our neighbours, I planted some flowers and plants that appeal to bees, such as lavender and tomato plants. For many years, my husband John and I, along with our dear neighbours, have stopped treating our yards and plants with chemicals. Chemicals can leach into pollen and negatively affect the bees.

The use of outdoor chemical and pest treatments can make a yard look perfect. However, a yard that is speckled with clover, dandelions and wildflowers is a haven for honeybees.

The featured image above is a snapshot of the wildflowers in our back yard. Those wildflowers, which are sometimes perceived as weeds, are there to stay. They are an important food source for the bees.

The infographic was designed by Chris Morley.


Julie Zimmer

Julie has extensive experience in nursing practice and education in a wide range of fields from intensive/coronary care, to medical-surgical to community and public health. Julie has Bachelor Degrees in Psychology and Nursing, and a Master’s Degree in Community Health Nursing Education. She has taught in faculties of nursing and in various communities in Toronto, Canada and in Geneva, Switzerland, and is a consultant to the International Council of Nurses (ICN). Julie also has years of experience teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) in addition to coordinating an English department in a Swiss private school.

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