- How can we conserve and sustain native bee populations in developed areas? (Urban, suburban communities)
- Native bee species can thrive in developed areas through proper regulation and education within the local community.
Purpose/Why is this so important?
- Bees pollinate 1/3 of crops grown in the US
- Without bees, many of the crops we consume will go up in price
- Many of the native plants that do grow around the area depend on native bees to pollinate them, as they have evolved together to suit one another's needs.
- Talk about the history of bees (introduction of honeybees), basic facts, comparison/contrasts of non-native to native bees. Talk about the history and growing popularity in CCD. End with growing interest in native bees.
- Causes of decline: Urbanization. Industrialized agriculture. Monoculture. Use of pesticides. Debunk cellphones as a cause. Honeybees as a possibility (will explain in a later paragraph)
Body: Methods/Solutions to Sustain native bees in developed areas. Direct focus to
- Regulation of pesticide use by both national and state governments.
- Regulation and prevention of native bees from being transported out of their local region.
- Benefits the local ecosystem if no pesticides are used (Some species of flies and wasps are also pollinators too)
- Reduces the competition between native and non-native species in a habitat
- What about certain pests that plague crops? By using pesticides, insects that usually prey upon your targeted pests get killed off too.
- Does stricter regulation necessarily limit farm growing businesses? In a way, yes. But studies show that growing crops near wild areas where native pollinators are yield more and better crops (see the watermelon)
- What about bee safe pesticides? Even those labeled as safe are at risk of harming bees.
Support for educating the general public
- Reduce the amount of self-exterminations of beehives (such as setting a hive on fire)
- Importance of bees in general being the essential pollinator of many of the crops we eat/use in our daily lives. (Melons, almonds, tomatoes, apples, blueberries, etc)
- Growing a diversity of native crops in local gardens and greenspaces.
- Green roofs.
- Building bee nests.
- Preserving/reserving nest spaces.
- Reducing the use of specific pesticides that are lethal to bees.
- Makes the community greener overall.
- Organic foods can be harvested from gardens
- Not only are you giving homes to native bees, but also to other native species/pollinators
- It takes a lot of money, people, and effort to make this happen.
- Going organic is problematic for impoverished communities.
- Bees are rather scary to deal with.
- Issues regarding honeybees/invasive/parasite bees:
- While honeybees are just as important pollinators as native bees, there are studies that indicate the competitiveness of honeybees towards its native cousins. This holds true for just about any bee species that are introduced in a foreign region. They will always overcompete for resources.
- As for the parasitic bee species, there are ways to deal with them without getting harmed. (Better home construction, killing the queen of invasive social bees)