In the short term it’s more a small effort to help save an insect. So what’s the big deal? When it succeeds, practically all animals and many plants will have benefited.
Glass Gardens NW, a local glassblowing studio based in Mukilteo, has launched a new line of garden floats called Bee Preservers. These textured floats are designed to help honeybees get the water they desperately need during their critical work day.
What do bees have to do with animals?
It may seem a bit of a leap to equate bees with animals until you consider some background. The bee population has been diminishing at an alarming rate over the past decade for reasons unknown. Barbara Sanderson, owner of GGNW and the artist behind the Bee Preservers, outlines this phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder in her blog post.
The bottom line- if bees disappear, more than one third of human food sources could disappear along with them. These foods are dependent on bees for pollination. Estimates range as high as 90 percent of the world’s food supply being dependent on pollination from bees.
Friends to you and your pets
This ripple effect touches our pets as well. As crop yields begin to shrink, the raw materials used in pet foods and animal feeds become scarcer and more expensive. The declining bee population can have a tremendous effect on daily life.
Our first reaction to a dive bombing bee may be to swat it away. Perhaps ducking is a better course of action than a quick backhand. When a stray ends up sharing an outdoor table, consider a gentle push instead of a fatal squash. Small efforts like these and the Bee Preservers lend a helping hand to bees in need.
Did Einstein foresee this problem?
There is no shortage of opinions on the seriousness of bees’ disappearance. A new film to be featured at the 2013 Seattle International Film Festival, More than Honey, offers a timely German perspective on the problem.
The film includes reference to a quote commonly attributed to Albert Einstein, “if bees ever die out, mankind will die out four years later.” This would be even more compelling if there were direct evidence that Einstein ever weighed in on this subject. These words were most likely manufactured in an effort to lend early credibility to the importance of the issue.
There’s no longer any question about the urgency of the problem
Whether we like it or not, this is a problem that affects everyone. Each of us can help contribute to a solution, in ways both large and small, until the underlying cause is identified.
The effort from GGNW is a welcome response. It’s an example of how thinking small can help contribute to a larger solution.