Take away our pollinating friends and the yuletide feast would be a barren affair.
It has widely been claimed that if we were to lose all the bees on the planet, we could survive for a mere four years. Without bees there is little pollination, which leads to fewer plants, fewer animals, and much less food. Around one-third of the food that we eat comes courtesy, one way or another, through the pollination afforded by honey bees.
In the United Kingdom, University of Reading researchers reveal that honeybee populations have declined by around half in the last two decades because of climate change, crappy pesticide management and human environmental impact. According to the USDA, in the United States the total number of managed honey bee colonies has decreased from 5 million in the 1940s to only 2.5 million today. Meanwhile, University of Bristol research claims that honeybees and other pollinators are responsible for 80 percent of all plant species in Europe, including fruits and vegetables.
While saving the bees is really, really important, it’s not at the top of everyone’s to-do list. The idea that our species is reliant on bees for survival? Not a lot of average Janes and Joes really seem all that concerned. Which is where Plan Bee Ltd has stepped in. In an effort to raise awareness, the sustainability consulting business has done a lot of work to promote just how direly our dinner tables, kitchens and supermarkets would be effected without bees. In an effort to drive the issue home, the company has created a before and after scene of a holiday feast in a world with and without bees.
“Christmas is a really strong example of just how reliant we are on the humble little honeybee,” says Warren Bader, CEO and Founder of Plan Bee Ltd. “They help to pollinate a third of the food that we eat, and at Christmas that would mean no cranberry sauce, no parsnips or carrots, no cloves or cherries for your Christmas pudding and Christmas cake, no apples for your mince pies and no holly. But perhaps most importantly, love them or loath them, no Brussels sprouts!”
Here are a few ways in which you can help the pollinators … if you don’t want to do it for the bees, do it for the Brussels sprouts:
• 68 garden pesticides to avoid in order to help the bees
• Save the bees with seed bombs
• How you can help prevent another mass bee die-off