Let it bee.
Dwindling bee populations have threatened global food security and nutrition, but now they’re buzzing back thanks to the cleaner air caused by humans going into confinement.
Wild bees have benefited from the planetary lockdown after years of sharply declining around the world. Conservationists say a world without bees would be a nightmare and efforts should be made to preserve them after the pandemic is over.
“These creatures are vital to what we eat and what our countryside looks like,” Gill Perkins, chief executive of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, told the BBC. “They provide a whole ecosystem service.”
In the UK, bee specialists point to how officials have stopped maintaining highway shoulders, allowing bees to flourish in what are rapidly becoming lush habitats.
Fewer cars on the road during the lockdown has meant less air pollution which makes it easier for bees to forage. Emptier highways have also spared many of the estimated 24 billion bees and wasps killed on North American roads every year.
Bees are the world’s chief pollinators. They fertilize a third of the food we eat and 80% of flowering plants. Bees and other pollinating insects are worth about $150 billion to the world economy.
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