Buzzing bees becoming quieter

Rebecca Case, Features Editor

Cheerios has removed the bee mascot from its Honey Nut Cheerios box in an effort to promote awareness of the disappearance bees.

While some may see this as a stunt designed to get free publicity, it is actually the most recent in a series of actions taken by the cereal company.

In addition, Cheerios have teamed up with Veseys Seeds to give away wildflower seeds for customers to plant to increase bees’ pollination. After giving away more than 1.5 billion seeds, Cheerios successfully exceeded its limit and is currently done giving away seeds in the United States.

However, this campaign has been met with backlash, as not all of the wildflowers Cheerios is sending to people are native to some areas in the United States. Planting the flowers in non-native areas could prove harmful to the region’s ecosystem, as they could be considered “invasive species”.

Despite controversies over the campaign, it ultimately has helped get people to talk about why bee conservation is important. Even though it is good to get the conversations rolling, the growing problem will require a lot more attention than just that.

In 2015-16, American beekeepers lost more than 40 percent of their honey bee colonies.

However, it is more than just honeybees. In fact, just in 2017, the rusty patched bumblebee was put onto the endangered species list after declining in nearly 90 percent of its range.

Bees are important to human’s everyday lives, because if they were not around to pollinate, humans would have to say goodbye to foods such as broccoli, asparagus, cantaloupes, cucumbers, pumpkins, blueberries, watermelons, almonds, apples, cranberries, cherries, and honey, to name a few.

There seem to be many reasons as to why bees are disappearing. Most experts agree one of the main causes is habitat loss due to the fact that there are simply fewer flowers in the world than there used to be.

Another reason is that when honeybees are transported across the country, they are at risk to come in contact with diseases that severely harm them.

Although the idea is controversial, many experts believe that pesticides also contribute to the rapid decline of bees.

A recent study shows a possible correlation between bee population decline and the overuse of antibiotics that farmers often spray into hives in an effort to protect the hives from destruction. Studies have shown that in some cases the antibiotics used can be harmful to the bacteria found in bee’s guts, but there is still research being conducted as to whether or not this is true.

While many of these problems may seem out of reach for the common person to help with, every little bit helps. Even just planting a few flowers in the backyard could help make a difference locally. Another way to help is by staying informed.

Even though the issue to save the bees has been around for a long time, there are new developments regularly, and day after day the situation gets worse. Only by everyone helping in their own way can the world hope to improve the future of the bees.