What Your Grocery Store Would Like Without Honey Bees
There’s a popular saying, supposedly by Albert Einstein, saying that “If bees disappeared off the face of the earth, man would only have four years left to live”. Many activists and environmental groups will be the first to say that honey bees play a vital role in our diet. Bees alone are found to pollinate about 30% of the world’s crops and 90% of wild plants. As their population continues to decline, the number of pollinators available, and subsequently the amount of pollination taking place, will also decrease. There are several species of plants and crops that really on insect and animal pollinators to aid in their pollination process. While there are a variety of other pollinators out there, the anatomy of honey bees, particularly their fuzzy legs, makes them the preferred contributor to plant pollination. So, what would the grocery store look like without the help of honey bees? The world wouldn’t suddenly collapse and everyone wouldn’t immediately starve, but there would be a significant decrease in the variety of food available to purchase. An increase in scientific development and a shift to more self-pollinating plants has created less of a reliance on pollinators. Crops such as rice, wheat, corn, potatoes, lettuce, beans, and tomatoes are not pollinated by bees and make up a substantial part of our diet. However, there are several foods that we are accustomed to seeing in the grocery store that would no longer be available if bees were to disappear completely. Apples, cranberries, cherries, almonds, avocados, oranges, cucumbers, and several other berries and vegetables would ceases to line the shelves of grocery stores. The human diet would drastically change without honey bees around. For starters it would not be nearly as healthy. A reliance on grains, fats, and nutrient poor foods would result in vitamin deficiencies, malnutrition, and diseases that have become rare in the developed world, such as scurvy, would become more prevalent. To say that we can’t live without bees isn’t necessarily true, but living without bees would turn our bodies into physical wrecks. The foods bees pollinate keep us healthy, so why not work towards keeping bees happy and healthy too.