“A bee is an exquisite chemist.” – Royal Beekeeper to Charles II
Unless you have been living with your head in the sand, you have heard about the vanishing honey bees. Honey bees are not native to America, but were imported here from Europe centuries ago. But, honey bees are not the only bees at risk. Bumble bees, which are native to America, are rapidly declining in numbers.
“The way humanity manages or mismanages its nature-based assets, including pollinators, will in part define our collective future in the 21st century…The fact is that of the 100 crop species that provide 90 percent of the world’s food, over 70 are pollinated by bees.” – Achim Steiner, Executive Director UN Environment Programme (UNEP)
Wild bumble bees are important pollinators. Without pollination, whole ecosystems can be decimated. There are many theories as to why bees are disappearing – viruses, parasites, pesticides, and even cell-phone transmissions. Of the fifty species of bumble bees in the United States, four of them have “experienced catastrophic declines over the past decade – two of them may be on the brink of extinction” (xerces.org).
“Not a single bee has ever sent you an invoice. And this is part of the problem – because most of what comes to us from nature is free, because it is not invoiced, because it is not priced, because it is not traded in markets, we tend to ignore it.” – Pavan Sukhedev, United Nations report, The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity
We tend to take for granted things that we do not have to work or pay for. Maybe that is part of the reason people fail to recognize the importance of our natural resources and the ecosystems necessary for our survival. In the United States, pollinating insects, most of which are bees, are estimated to have an economic value of $3 billion per year. That is money that nature freely provides and we are squandering away.
Next time you eat a tomato or a berry, you can thank a bumble bee. When you enjoy the beauty of many wild flowers, you can thank a bumble bee. Next time you see a bumble bee, take some time to stop and watch it at work. It is both fascinating and beautiful to watch, buzzing around and around, as it lights on each blossom until it has had its fill.
This week, the prompt at Bastet’s Pixelventures is macro photos. My point and shoot shows me when I am taking a macro with a little symbol in the window, but when I look at the photo properties, it does not tell me if the shot is a macro. So, I decided to go with close-ups of the bumble bees and hope they fit the challenge. I did edit these photos from their originals.
The orchid (above), which sits on my kitchen table, is a macro and not edited. The rose (below) is also a macro and not edited.
We Drink Inspiration
Bee Quotes: http://www.buzzaboutbees.net/
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