According to a new report by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), bee colonies vital for food crops across the world are experiencing alarming decline, especially in the northern hemisphere, with 10-30% decline in Europe, 30% in the United States and up to 85% in the Middle East.
Factors of their disappearance include the increasing use of insecticides that disrupt the bees' nervous systems; reduced wild flowers due to intensive farming; and air pollution that reduces the bees' ability to find flowers via their scent, whose normal range of 800 yards now only reaches 20 yards.
Further driving the enormous losses are new diseases and parasites that spread via global trade. UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said, “The fact is that of the 100 crop species that provide 90% of the world's food, over 70 are pollinated by bees.” The study authors called for international efforts for more care in choice, timing and application of chemical pesticides to save these food production benefactors.
Many thanks United Nations Environment Agency for alerting the world to the urgent need for action to protect our pollinating friends, the bees. May we strive to provide a better environment and thus a more sustainable planet for countless lives as our own.
As during an August 2008 international gathering, Supreme Master Ching Hai has long shown concern for threatened species such as the bees, along with emphasizing a lifestyle change to help lives.