“If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live”

For many people, bees are nuisances that are to be avoided at all costs. But bee populations have been declining rapidly over the past few decades. Earlier last week, the Natural Resources Defense Council filed a lawsuit against the Department of the Interior and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for halting the classification of the rusty-patched bumblebee species on the Endangered Species List. The main culprits for the decline in bee populations are harmful insecticides, habitat destruction, pathogens, and climate change.

What’s all this buzz about?

Bees and other pollinating insects play a massive role in our food production because they pollinate nearly a third of the food we eat. The extinction of these insects would be detrimental to our economies and our food supplies. There are claims that many bee species are recovering and populations are rising, but we must be proactive to ensure their conservation.

Bee positive – there are plenty of ways to help out!

1. It is important to understand that there is a difference between honeybees and wasps. Bees will not harm you if you stay still and remain calm.

2. Support local farmers who plant organic fruits and veggies. In addition, only purchase local honey to support beekeepers around Pittsburgh who are far more likely to care for the well being of their bees.

3. Plant bee-friendly flowers and avoid harsh chemicals to allow for a safe habitat for our black and yellow friends.

4. If you’re interested in becoming a beekeeper, check out Burgh Bees for more information and classes.

5. Finally, don’t be a mumblebee! Spread the word about saving the bees and show you care by writing a letter to your representative or donating to organizations that work towards bee conservancy.