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Bees might be small, but they play an enormous role in our ecosystem. These winged insects are responsible for pollinating flowers and plants across the world, but most importantly they pollinate the majority of the foods we eat. In the U.S., around one-third of our food supply is made possible by bees. Without these little guys, we can say goodbye to almonds, broccoli, cherries, cucumbers, blueberries, and about a hundred other foods we enjoy every day. Basically, without bees, we could starve.
So what’s the big deal? Why are we freaking you out by making you think all your favorite things are going to disappear? Well, sadly, because they just might.
For the past decade, the bee population has dropped drastically; we’re talking a decrease of 30 percent each year. In an ironic turn, scientists have discovered that pesticides that are used on crops are to blame for this loss. Neonicotinoids are powerful pesticides that are used across the U.S. to “protect” crops from a variety of unwanted pests. Unfortunately, these pesticides are unable to discriminate between “good” pests and “bad” pests, and, as a result, end up harming them all just the same.
Neonicotinoids are extremely effective because they target the pest’s nervous system. When bees are exposed to these pesticides they slowly lose cognitive function, have seizures and are rendered unable to navigate their way back to the hive – hence, Colony Collapse Disorder. Due to the devastating impact that these pesticides have on bee populations, many countries have banned them from use, the U.S., however, has not.
To help raise awareness for bees and motivate people to take a stand against the use of these pesticides, London street artists, Louis Masai Michel and Jim Vision have launched the #SavetheBees campaign.
Vision and Michel are taking their message to cities around the world. So far, they’ve created murals in London, Croatia, New York, Miami and New Orleans.
The two artists couple their beautiful works of art with messages that are meant to grab people’s attention.
The goal is to make it incredibly clear that if bees go … they’re taking us with them.
While these messages might “sting,” they’re a truth that we all need to hear.
We need bees more than they need us, so it’s our job to protect them.
As consumers, we can help protect bees by buying organic produce and voicing our concerns for the bees.
All image source: Louis Masai Michel/Facebook