Save the Bees. Else We'll Cease to Be !!
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When you wake up to the heavenly scent of coffee brewing in the kitchen, a freshly tossed fruit salad awaits you at the table. Next, you catch a whiff of the aroma of a chocolate cake being baked in the oven.
Now, that sounded truly delectable, didn't it? What if we told you that with the extinction of one tiny insect, these delicacies would perish too! Those tiny insects are the bees, without whom much of the food that we enjoy today would be off the table.
Albert Einstein once quoted - “If the bees disappeared from the surface of the earth, the human race would follow in four years”
Why are Bees critical for our survival?
Bees are one of the most important allies of human beings. Bees are generally viewed as honey-producers and unwanted pests due to their sometimes fatal stings. However, they pollinate about 80 percent of the world's food crops. The revenue generated by bees globally is valued in billions. Numerous industries are dependent upon bee pollination such as agriculture, dairy, meat, cosmetics, honey, oilseeds, and clothing. In India, where the agricultural, textile, and oilseed industries bring in most of our national revenue, bees are a significant addition to our lives.
But, due to a very unfortunate phenomenon called CCD (No, not Cafe Coffee Day! Its Colony Collapse Disorder), bee population is experiencing a major decline in the past decade.
What is Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD)?
CCD is a hapless occurrence, when a majority of worker bees in a bee-hive colony are wiped out, leaving behind the queen and a few nurse bees along with heaps of unwanted food.
The primary cause for this phenomenon are agricultural pesticides and insecticides. Other causes like parasites such as the varroa mite and nosema ceranae, GMO production, lack of nutrition and habitat, cell phone radiation, and global warming also contribute to CCD.
What are the ecological and economic impacts?
Colony Collapse Disorder has already caused drastic ecological and economical impacts around the world. In India too, the effects of CCD are on the rise. Although the local Cerana variety of bees contribute towards pollination, there has been a noticeable decline in their population.
According to 2013 statistics, in India, the total area of crops that are dependent on bees is around fifty million (50 million) hectares. To pollinate these crops, we need one hundred and fifty million (150 million) bee colonies. But at present, there are only one million two hundred thousand (1.2 million) colonies in existence. These colonies are declining at an alarming pace due to our careless actions. It is only a matter of time before it spells disaster to our economy.
What is Imidacloprid?
Imidacloprid is the most widely used pesticide in the world. It is highly toxic, belonging to a group of pesticides called Neonicotinoids. Many pesticides and fertilisers which harm the bees have been banned in other parts of the world, but these pesticides are still being used recklessly all over India.
Imidacloprid binds much more strongly to insect neuron receptors than to mammal neuron receptors. Hence they are more toxic to insects than mammals. Imidacloprid damages the bee’s nervous system, which lead to several problems for the bee. The bee’s navigation system goes haywire and the bee is not able to locate its hive. It loses the knowledge of the different flowers’ scents and its brain stops working efficiently.
We humbly appeal to all to sign this petition to request our honourable prime minister Shri Narendra Modi to ban Imidacloprid in India immediately and help save our striped friends, in turn preserving the a human race.
Save the Bees. Else we’ll cease to be !!
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