Major BUZZ-kill

Social media editor Courtney Brewer stresses the vital role that bees play in our lives today

Think about what you eat in a day. Fruits, veggies, nuts. Chances are, in one way or another bees were involved in producing your food.

We didn’t get the expression “busy as a bee” from nowhere. Bees work relentlessly to pollinate the vast majority of what we eat. Out of the top 100 foods our world eats, 71 would not be possible without bees. And with the United States’ bee population decreasing by 40% since 2006, this is a major issue.

Everyone laughs when I go on one of my rants about bees or post a video on Snapchat using the bee filter yelling about how the world has lost half its bees in the last decade. But, the decline of bees is a huge problem that more people need to know about. If the bees go, we are soon to follow. Besides the major loss of food source, any products from your favorite Burt’s Bees chapstick to vital medicines that use bee venom will be wiped out.

Our world views bees as a nuisance with no purpose other than making honey, but they do so much more.

— Courtney Brewer

At this point you’ve either already exited out (see ya, wouldn’t wanna BEE ya) (I’m sorry) or you’re wondering how we can help these little guys. Surprisingly, it’s not that hard. The biggest issue facing bees is the use of toxic pesticides that are killing them and their ecosystems. By encouraging brands and even local farmers to stop using these chemicals, the bees will be safe to do their job and help these plants grow. Speaking of local, buying local honey and other food from farms that don’t use pesticides helps these businesses to thrive and continue to grow bee-friendly produce.

But what about at home? Yes, you can help the bees right from your backyard, and for cheap. There are a myriad of companies that sell wildflowers native to your area, even here in Kentucky, that attract bees and allow them to do their job. Planting small gardens or window boxes does the trick for these pollinators. On an even grander scale, see if your parents and your HOA would allow you to have a bee box or a hive in your backyard to give bees a home.

So much of our major food source we owe to bees, and if we don’t do something soon we could end up losing them for good. The next time you see a bee and think about swatting it or running away, know that they don’t want to hurt you and think about what our world would be like without them.