North America, 2022—More than a fourth of North American bumble bee communities face extinction risk. The American bumblebee (Bombus pensylvanicus) population has declined by nearly 90% and may soon be listed as endangered. The bees’ nemesis is land development. Competition from trafficked honeybees worsens the situation.
Understanding climate disruptions on bees, say researchers, is also vital. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature says one necessary step is to create a global database of bee records. Fine, but let’s do what we can now, before it’s too late to apply anything we might learn in the future.
Beekeeping is not the answer…
Avoiding the products of animal agribusiness is. Animal ag consumes massive amounts of feed crops—and is thus responsible for most bee use. Dairy companies use alfalfa feed crops, pollinated by bees. Those bees, like the beekeepers’ honeybees, are commercially trafficked to the United States.
Devote a simple patch of garden space to the cause. Choose bee-friendly, indigenous flowering plants, like liquorice mint, joe-pye weed, sedum, bee balm, beardtongue and native asters. Buy them from dedicated native plant sellers.
The growers at the Vegan Organic Network advise us all to do some gardening. Even a little. It’s a life skill, and a matter of animal liberation.