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Dwindling bee population threat to ecosystem

By The Assam Tribune
Dwindling bee population threat to ecosystem
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Guwahati, May 20: The humble honey bee is a small creature, but they play a very important role in managing the globe's ecosystems. As pollinators, they are crucial within the life cycle of plants, providing a vital environmental service for human life.

As per the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations bees are considered one of the hardest working creatures on the planet, these tiny creatures have benefited people, plants and the environment.

By carrying pollen from one flower to another, bees and other pollinators enable not only the production of an abundance of fruits, nuts and seeds but also more variety and better quality, contributing to food security and nutrition.

The developments in climate change are posing a threat to the existence of the honey bee as well as other endangered bee species, thereby placing them in a sensitive position which can lead to harmful impacts on global biodiversity.

UN Environment programme has cited habitat loss, intensive farming practices, changes in weather patterns and the excessive use of agrochemicals such as pesticides as key reasons responsible for the declining bee populations globally over recent decades.

It is in this context that World Bee Day is observed annually on May 20 across the globe. The day is marked to raise awareness about the essential roles bees play in supporting people and the environment.

This day also focuses on the threats that the humble bee faces and how it can influence the existence of these creatures that can adversely impact food production, nutrition and even entire ecosystems.

According to FAO bees and other pollinators are declining in abundance in many parts of the world largely due to harmful agricultural activities and higher temperatures associated with climate change, affecting not only crop yields but also nutrition. The FAO also warned that if this trend continues, nutritious crops such as fruits, nuts, and many vegetables will be substituted increasingly by staple crops like rice, corn, and potatoes, eventually resulting in an imbalanced diet.

While speaking to The Assam Tribune, Atharva Singh, Scientist at Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) informs that one of the reasons behind the declining bee population is due to the use of a lot of pesticides in agricultural activities.

While highlighting that the tiny creatures are biological indicators, Singh says, "They give us a lot of information about what is happening in the environment as they are very sensitive to even minor changes in nature. Bees are the pulse of the environment which helps to determine the health of the environment and the forest cover. Along with pollution, change of forest structure and urbanisation could be another reason behind the declining trend of the bee population."

They are also dependent on forested environments which are essential to maintain their diversity and pollination services as such it becomes important to keep a check on the pollution happening around the world.

Singh further bats for the adoption of organic methods in agricultural activities, afforestation, preservation of wildlife habitat and the reduction of pesticides which could yield a positive impact on the pollinators.

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Dwindling bee population threat to ecosystem

Guwahati, May 20: The humble honey bee is a small creature, but they play a very important role in managing the globe's ecosystems. As pollinators, they are crucial within the life cycle of plants, providing a vital environmental service for human life.

As per the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations bees are considered one of the hardest working creatures on the planet, these tiny creatures have benefited people, plants and the environment.

By carrying pollen from one flower to another, bees and other pollinators enable not only the production of an abundance of fruits, nuts and seeds but also more variety and better quality, contributing to food security and nutrition.

The developments in climate change are posing a threat to the existence of the honey bee as well as other endangered bee species, thereby placing them in a sensitive position which can lead to harmful impacts on global biodiversity.

UN Environment programme has cited habitat loss, intensive farming practices, changes in weather patterns and the excessive use of agrochemicals such as pesticides as key reasons responsible for the declining bee populations globally over recent decades.

It is in this context that World Bee Day is observed annually on May 20 across the globe. The day is marked to raise awareness about the essential roles bees play in supporting people and the environment.

This day also focuses on the threats that the humble bee faces and how it can influence the existence of these creatures that can adversely impact food production, nutrition and even entire ecosystems.

According to FAO bees and other pollinators are declining in abundance in many parts of the world largely due to harmful agricultural activities and higher temperatures associated with climate change, affecting not only crop yields but also nutrition. The FAO also warned that if this trend continues, nutritious crops such as fruits, nuts, and many vegetables will be substituted increasingly by staple crops like rice, corn, and potatoes, eventually resulting in an imbalanced diet.

While speaking to The Assam Tribune, Atharva Singh, Scientist at Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) informs that one of the reasons behind the declining bee population is due to the use of a lot of pesticides in agricultural activities.

While highlighting that the tiny creatures are biological indicators, Singh says, "They give us a lot of information about what is happening in the environment as they are very sensitive to even minor changes in nature. Bees are the pulse of the environment which helps to determine the health of the environment and the forest cover. Along with pollution, change of forest structure and urbanisation could be another reason behind the declining trend of the bee population."

They are also dependent on forested environments which are essential to maintain their diversity and pollination services as such it becomes important to keep a check on the pollution happening around the world.

Singh further bats for the adoption of organic methods in agricultural activities, afforestation, preservation of wildlife habitat and the reduction of pesticides which could yield a positive impact on the pollinators.