Ed. Note: We are happy to share this reader response, which is part of a series developed by environmental science students at Loyola University Chicago from the course Environmental Sustainability.
As humans see themselves apart from nature they forget what beauties it beholds. Take for example the wild honey bee, the pollinator of the world. Honey bees are small insects who fly from flower to flower pollinating plants as they go. Bees are very social animals who live in colonies, feeding primarily off nectar and pollen. This insect’s population has been on the decline in past years due to humans destroying nature. This screams trouble for farmers and agricultural crops. According to the Green Peace Organization, “Honey bees – wild and domestic – perform about 80 percent of all pollination worldwide.” That means that if these insects were to disappear the crop surplus would begin to fall rapidly.
Humans must see themselves as a part of the interconnected web throughout nature in order to save the honey bees. Without these insects, humans would have to come up with new ways to pollinate the large food supplies we need to be sustainable. The honey bee population has been steadily declining due to habitat destruction and harmful pesticides that are sprayed onto the plants that the bees would pollinate. Humans must stop this destruction before it is too late. The Green Peace Organization continues with, “Biologists have found more than 150 different chemical residues in bee pollen, a deadly ‘pesticide cocktail’ according to University apiculturist Eric Mussen.” Meaning humans have done explicable damage to the ecosystem that these honey bees live in. Unless humans begin an effort to reduce the number of pesticides that are used in agriculture the beloved ecosystems will be destroyed.
Humans should care for bees because the species is very beneficial for the way we live. They help to produce countless amounts of produce that are used for human consumption and for feed for livestock. Maria Boland of the Mother Nature Network reported, “Losing them could affect not only dietary staples such as apples, broccoli, strawberries, nuts, asparagus, blueberries, and cucumbers but may threaten our beef and dairy industries as alfalfa is not available for feed.” Meaning if bees were to disappear that would mean the end to many agricultural practices that keep the human race sustainable. The main reason why bees are necessary for human life is that they pollinate everything we eat. Humans need to preserve bees before it is too late. With this, humans need to take a step back and reevaluate how they can make an effort to save the bees, preserving the environment and agricultural efforts that make life possible.
Seeing ourselves as separate from nature can have lasting effects on our ecosystems. From letting rivers run dry to killing off species, the human race has done catastrophic destruction to Earth. In order to become a part of nature humans will need to reduce the pollution levels around the globe and begin cleaning up after ourselves for the messes we have made. In the hope to preserve the natural levels of Earth for the next generation of human beings on planet Earth. A start could be to save the bees, which would have a tremendous impact on the ecosystem allowing for plants to fully grow more rapidly. The balance of earth cannot be sustainable if humans see themselves separate from nature.