Bees are completely underrated by modern society. It is literally impossible to overstate how important they are for our modern food system.
90% of world food production comes from 100 crops, and 71 of them are bee-pollinated. Now think of your 10 favorite fruits or veggies and imagine life without 7 of them.
These incredible creatures are a critical link in our food chain connecting animals to plants that are otherwise inedible. For roughly a decade researchers have been aware of issues with mass-disappearances (ominously dubbed "Colony Collapse Disorder") which have raised serious concerns about the population.
Thankfully, in the past year the culprit has been discovered. Big surprise - it's currently the most widely used class of pesticides called neonicitinoids "neonics." Studies have shown these chemicals to cause bees to forget their way home or just straight up die.
The EPA is now under pressure (being sued) to ban all neonics, which should seem like a common-sense precaution, especially considering they've been found to offer little to no improvement in crop yield.
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Cover photo courtesy of: Hetarllen Mumriken