By Priyanka Sarkar
Bees are significant pollinators who fertilize plants. Some assert bees as dread, because of their sting, and the allergic reactions caused due to their venom. But what if these threatened species go totally extinct? What would the future be then? How would the crops be fertilized? Any alternative can not be as efficient as bees are. So many questions, with just a lone way out. Total apocalypse.
Now that your imagination has kicked in, let’s see what will happen. Basically, we would lose all that our environment incorporates. Plants pollinated by bees, insects dependent on these plants, animals and all closely related to this food chain will suffer a deadly blow. And specifically, the delicious and nutritious honey that we use as a natural substitute for sugar. The fruits and vegetables that we consider the significant share of our diet are fertilized by these pollinators. It is an impact that stands far beyond what you expect, shrinking the global food supply.
Humans will face massive crises to sustain, and harsh food shortages might soon be treated as a matter of global crisis. As said earlier, a full-blown apocalypse! There are myriad communities entirely dependent on honey harvesting, their major source of income., imagine the grief they might attain.
This planet has over 800 wild bee species within just Europe. Furthermore, seven are already classified as ‘critically endangered’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). 46 - endangered, 24 - vulnerable, while 101 are referred in the category of nearly threatened species.
Bees pollinate half of the crops, that humans and insects are directly or indirectly contingent upon. Butterflies, bumblebees, honey bees look on the other division. Will this partake be the same if one gets erased off of the face of our planet? In the environment, every species plays a significant role. That is how ecology is balanced. Each and every genus of this planet can cause a tectonic shift. And when I assert each, it denotes even to moss species.
For instance, the recent moss species - Bryum bharatiensis, discovered for the first time by Indian scientists in Antarctica is entirely dependent on nitrogen. Now, what’s interesting, the moss species is dependent on Penguins poop, consisting of nitrogen. Now, just consider the grave concern it depicts. Future extinction of penguins due to the declining icy sheets of Antarctica might see a rough extinction of this species too. Deforestation or loss of green cover is yet another threat to its existence.
We, humans, are so self-concerned - issues related to individual survival makes us forget about the greater good. The rate at which bee colonies are declining amounts to an immediate concern. The extinction of bees is a threat to generations, might alter the natural systems and food webs.