By Kassel Franco Garibay
The last thing I wanted to hear after a long midterms week was that the bees are dying. Now, don’t get me wrong, I already knew the bees were dying. The bee population has been in continuous decline since 1945. But on Wednesday, the Center for Biological Diversity released a report that says nearly 1 in 4 native species of bees in North America is imperiled and at increasing risk of extinction.
Ever since I was a kid I’ve been very interested in bees. I find their collective consciousness fascinating and I think that they are often underestimated. Many times I’ve stopped someone from killing a bee “before it stung them,” and I used to cry whenever a bee colony decided to move into my yard, knowing that my parents would have someone come to get rid of it. Bees are a badass species that have mastered math (the perfect octagon pattern of their hives), security (guard bees make sure only familiar bees enter the colony and no foreigners come in to steal their food) and healthcare (some bees act as nurses and sometimes weed out sick individuals from the hive, or prescribe propolis to sick bees so that they will get better).
Bees are not only adorable, but they are vital life as we know it. I am positive that most people reading are aware of the bees’ role in pollination. Because they depend entirely on pollen to obtain their protein intake, bees fly from flower to flower and unintentionally (yes, unintentionally, believe it or not bees don’t do all of this just because they are trying to be nice to humans, we are not that important) help pollinate the plants. And if you did not know about it, now you do, and you should do whatever you can to save the bees.
The easiest way you can help save the bees is to plant bee-flowers, whether you have a big garden or you can only afford to have one or two flower pots in your windowsill, it doesn’t matter. The bees in your neighborhood will appreciate it. The next step would be to support local beekeeper businesses; beekeepers are vital for the survival of our little friends. Beekeepers can divide colonies and help bees reproduce faster, which could potentially slow down the dying of the species.
Finally, because I could not write an opinions article without complaining about Donald Trump, it is our responsibility to be aware of the environment and how we are affecting it. The budget cuts to the EPA not only will affect the bees, but our clean air and water. So, whenever you are calling your representatives make sure you bring up the bees and how important they are.
Kassel is a freshman International Relations and Women and Gender Studies double major with a minor in Latin American Studies.