Bees have been around for thousands of years, and they’re still important for us and the environment today. But what would happen if all the bees died? In recent years, the number of bees has declined, partly due to climate change, and it’s our job to do our part when it comes to boosting the bee population. Whether or not you care about environmental issues, knowing what would happen if every bee on Earth died is imperative.
In this article, we list the major effects of bees going extinct.
Decreased Amount of Beef and Dairy Products
Unfortunately, we would lose all the plants that bees normally pollinate, and the animals that rely on those plants for food would struggle to survive. Interestingly, most of the food that cows eat depends on bees for pollination. As a result, we would see a large decline in dairy products, and eventually, dairy cows would become a thing of the past. Unfortunately, humans would no longer be able to enjoy cheese, yogurt, milk, ice cream, or any other products that come from cows.
No More Honey
This one may seem the more obvious among the bee extinction facts, but without bees, there would be no honey. Honey is one of the healthiest, most versatile, and most natural food sources. It’s also one of the most beneficial things to use in the kitchen, for minor illnesses and wounds, and for skin and hair care. Even if you don’t use honey in your daily life, other people swear by the endless benefits and possibilities of the magical substance. It may not seem like a big deal, but honey and other bee products are impossible to replicate.
Higher Clothing Costs
Cotton is a staple for the clothing and fabric industries, and it’s one of the many crops that rely on bees for pollination. While cotton crops don’t rely solely on bees for pollination, the quantity and quality of the crop greatly improve when bees are a part of the equation. Interestingly, cotton is an essential part of making many items humans use every day, such as:
- Denim pants
- Bed sheets
- Toilet paper
- Feminine hygiene products
Although synthetic fibers and fabrics may still be available, many of them require some amount of cotton to make. With that in mind, fabric and clothing costs would rise drastically.
Lack of Popular Fruits and Vegetables
The role bees play in our agriculture is astounding. Believe it or not, more than half of the fruit and vegetable crops that humans worldwide rely on as food sources depend on bees for pollination. Remarkably, bees pollinate apples, berries, melons, avocados, peaches, pumpkins, squash, broccoli, carrots, etc., and they would all become extremely difficult to produce. These crops would become very rare and incredibly expensive to purchase; unfortunately, most fruit and vegetables would disappear completely without bees.
No More Coffee
Another surprising development if all the bees died is no more coffee. Many people all over the world rely on coffee to get them through the day; however, these decadent beans could also become a thing of the past without bees. Although some varieties are capable of self-pollination, bees’ presence dramatically improves the bean size, quality, and quantity. Coffee would be more difficult to produce, and the availability would be minimal; it’s already an expensive crop, but it would be even more pricey without bees for pollination.
Many medications and dietary supplements use bee-pollinated crops in their formulations, which would be a cause for concern if all the bees went extinct. Believe it or not, pharmaceutical manufacturers use aspen and willow trees to make aspirin and opium poppies to make morphine and other pain killers. A loss of the bee population would cause medication shortages and possibly even complete unavailability in many cases.
Humans require many different vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and nutrients to live a healthy life, but consuming all the essentials would be much more challenging without bees. The crops that bees pollinate provide the majority of the vitamins and minerals humans need, and malnutrition could become a major issue worldwide. Our immune systems would be unable to fight off bacteria, viruses, and other more serious diseases; as a result, human health would suffer dramatically.
Humans as Pollinators
As expected, someone would have to pick up the slack if bees were no longer here to pollinate the crops. Believe it or not, humans would have to pollinate crops by hand. This is already happening in some parts of the world, and workers paint pollen onto plants that require it. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough people to do this for all the crops, so many others would no longer exist. Hand pollination requires a significant amount of work; as a result, food prices would skyrocket.
What We Can Do To Help
Imagining a world without bees is difficult, but it’s necessary to understand the incredibly important role they play in the world as we know it. Because bee populations have been declining worldwide, it’s not crazy to think about what could happen if they become extinct. With that in mind, it’s our job to ensure their population remains secure and growing; consider these steps to save the bees.
Planting bee-friendly, nectar-rich plants on your property is one of the easiest things you can do to boost the bee population. Bees love sunflowers, zinnias, lavender, rosemary, mint, etc., and you can draw them to your yard by providing a safe bee garden for them to forage.
Become a Beekeeper
While it’s not for everyone, becoming a beekeeper is the ultimate way to ensure you do your part to support the bee population. Consider purchasing pol-line queens and a bee nuc to start an unforgettable experience you’ll cherish for many years to come. Believe it or not, beekeeping becomes a tradition in many families, and it’s an excellent legacy to pass down to the next generation.
Although it may sound cliché, spreading awareness about the bee population and its role in the environment goes a long way. Be sure to make your friends and family aware of bees’ importance; consider starting a beekeeping and awareness group in your community to encourage support in your town or local area.
Many chemical pesticides and fungicides for plants are common choices, but they’re incredibly harmful to bees and other pollinators. However, many people are unaware of this issue. Be sure to stop using any of these on your own property, and encourage your friends, family, and neighbors to do the same.
Now that you know what would happen if every bee on Earth died, you’re probably more committed to helping their population. Although everyone has a part to do, it’s unlikely that each and every person will make real changes. Remember that there is power in numbers, and the bees will surely benefit from you encouraging others to take action.
To learn more about caring for bee colonies, explore our blogs or contact us today.