In today’s polarizing political climate, environmental conversations too often emphasize larger than life issues that are difficult to comprehend. Topics like global climate change, while undoubtedly important, fail at motivating everyday individuals to be more environmentally conscious. To effectively engage the so called “skeptics,” more attention should be devoted to issues that impact daily lives, such as addressing declines in the bee population.
College conservatives can lead efforts to engage those disaffected by the alarmist rhetoric that frequently characterizes environmental discussions. Polls consistently show that young conservatives place a greater emphasis on environmental issues, and their passion and concern should be voiced to transform the notion that the environment is a hyper partisan issue. By emphasizing localized issues like saving the bees, this can be accomplished.
As we celebrate National Pollinator Week, it’s important to remember and appreciate the integral role that bees play in our everyday lives. Bees, although primarily known for their subtle buzzing and honey production, shape the world as we know it.
The impact of bees on the agricultural industry ventures far beyond those bear-shaped bottles of honey that you find in the local grocery store. Bees pollinate approximately 75 percent of fruits, nuts, and vegetables grown in the United States and help produce more than $20 billion in crops per year!
Bees also ensure that our landscape maintains its immense aesthetic value. Without these fascinating, yet underappreciated creatures, landscapes once covered by vibrant flowers and vegetation would evolve into bland tracts of monotony.
Despite the species’ immediate impacts on human life, bee population decline – frequently referred to as colony collapse disorder – has gone largely unnoticed. The trend is pronounced and disturbing, as a USDA report indicates that between 2015 and 2016, 44 percent of bee colonies were lost. This staggering figure highlights the need for action to protect and revitalize bee populations before it’s too late.
Fortunately, a number of individuals and organizations are working to revive the suffering bee population. Connexus Energy, in partnership with Bolton Bees, is now incorporating pollinator friendly plants and installing bee hives in its solar farms throughout Minnesota. If implemented on a large scale, these farms would transform from a source of habitat loss to an ideal breeding ground for “solar honey.”
During National Pollinator Week, we should reflect on the important contributions that bees make to our planet and act to prolong their existence. This can be done by simply planting a pollinator friendly flower, educating a friend about colony collapse disorder, or joining an organization that prioritizes bee preservation. These actions allow us to give back to the creatures that give us so much, and together, we can save them.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.