I couldn’t get a direct link for this story, so I’ve posted it below. And I very much hope it’s true! It’s from Cracked.com, part of their article 7 Pieces Of Good News About Huge Stories (No One Told You). The other six pieces are great reads too, but as this is for my bee-themed newsletter, I’m sticking with the bees 🙂
Bees Are Probably Going To Be Just Fine
You’ve read the articles or, at the very least, seen the Facebook memes: bees are dying off, and once they’re gone, we’re next. Bees help flowers do the nasty and allow us to grow our food, which you might recognise as something we need to continue living. How fucked are we, exactly? Well, you saw headlines saying bees were just put on the endangered species list so, you know, pretty fucked, probably.
The Good News:
Bees did go through a pretty rough patch there … and by “there,” we mean 10 years ago. The U.S. bee population hit a low point in 2006 with 2.5 million colonies, but by 2015, that number was up to 2.66 million, a two-decade high. Beekeepers saw the problem and have been working their asses off to reverse it — if anything, we should be worried about them going extinct.
Bee populations have also been going up in other parts of the world. So why were they put in the endangered species list, then? Because seven bee species, all of them from Hawaii, haven’t been doing so well and we need to protect them — that’s what the “endangered” status is all about. It’s more of a tactical move to make sure the government actually gives funds to help those Hawaiian bees’ population go up. By the way, we’re talking about seven species out of the 4,000 ones existing in the U.S. alone. There’s still a shitload of bees out there, is our point.
And even if something went horribly wrong, like all the bees simultaneously flying into space to chill on the moon, we’d still manage to get by. Sixty percent of crops grown in America develop perfectly fine without bees. Stuff like rice, corn, lettuce, and wheat aren’t bee-reliant, which means you can stop stockpiling all that Mountain Dew for the apocalypse. But the important thing is: bees are still very, very far from going the way of the humpback whale or the bald eagle.