I saved a bee this morning.
It's small body was trapped together with a tiny fly, in a large web that extended from my washing line to a couple of hanging baskets.
While the spider that built the impressive web has just as much right to live as the bee does; to me, the bee is more important in the cycle of life.
While saving an animal (and particularly a bee) is the kind of thing that I would do normally, it is definitely something that I'd encourage all to do at this crucial point in time. It's especially important at the moment, because the cycle of life is being threatened.
Why is it important in the cycle of life? All bees are our great pollinators. They're not the only ones, but some give us a great bonus while we're waiting for fruit and vegetables to ripen. Some bees give us honey.
According to Rural Aid -
One-third of our crops rely on pollination by bees;
Blueberries, avocados, and almonds are completely reliant on bees;
Honey production is down by a whopping 70% - with no relief in sight.
Bees also help to create diversity, which means that stronger plants can come about and adapt to new environmental conditions.
I said, earlier, that saving a bee is especially important at the moment. There are three reasons for this.
First, the more we clear land for development, the less habitat and flora are available for our indigenous fauna, including bees.
Second, climate change is increasing the world's temperature, leading to increased risk of drought (and prolonged droughts).
Third, recent bushfires have significantly reduced the bee populations (indigenous bees and our honey producers.
These three issues don't just put our bee populations at risk. They impact our primary industry, which has a flow-on effect to food manufacturing, entertainment and fast food, international trade, wholesale and retail, and the prices we pay for food.
What can we do?
We can do things at home, like growing flowers (a variety is good, indigenous is great);
We can look out for spiderwebs and respectfully move them away from flowers to discourage spiders from building them where bees are likely to go;
We can look out for insects caught in spiderwebs, and gently help the bees to be free of the stickiness trapping their wings and proboscis.
Rural Aid has all sorts of other ideas too, so we can all get involved in whatever ways suit our personality and circumstances.
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