Last night I watched a Nature of Things documentary called “Beetalker: The Secret World of Bees.” (In my defense, I didn’t know the name of the documentary before I started watching it.) Anyway, it was pretty interesting, made even more so by supplementary interjections by my girlfriend, Claire “Bees are so cool!” Salloum.
At one point in the doc, Dr. Mark Winston claimed that, “without bees, human society as we know it would not exist.” Now I’m a pretty eco-conscious guy, but even I wanted to laugh at such a silly statement. That is, until he explained that without bee pollination, the overwhelming majority of our agriculture couldn’t exist.
That would be a problem. Because, like, we humans totally love to eat.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Sure Chris, I understand that we need bees to make food, and I like to eat, but protecting bees will hurt the economy, and that’s the most important thing. I want jobs, not bees!”
Good point. However, according to Simon Potts from the University of Reading, the economic value of pollination worldwide is over $100 billion Canadian each year. (And according to Doug Woodward–a Green Party member from St. Catharines who may or may not know what he’s talking about–Potts is “low by a factor of maybe 1000.”)
In conclusion, whether you’re into survival, money, or both, bees are your friend.