Everyone on this planet serves its purpose. From the tiniest of insects to the most in-demand of crops, our lives are interconnected and we all benefit from each other – albeit not all the time – but more often than not.
While humans only see the bigger things in the picture like the flowers that bloom and the fruits on a tree, we fail to realize the means for them to grow and bloom like that. Bees have a lot to do with many things in nature. Although we often associate them with making honey, they help in the pollination of most plants and flowers and are far more important than we give them credit for.
Cas Olivier would like to create as much of a buzz as possible about conserving bees and relocating them, rather than killing swarms in Madibeng. He is calling on anyone interested in helping him.
Cas, who is a well-known bee-farmer from Hartbeespoort, is one of just a handful of bee lovers in the area, very well-acquainted with these hardworking but often feared little insects and very knowledgeable about the do’s and don’ts regarding their wellbeing.
“I was called out to Brits to remove a swarm of bees from an electricity box,” Cas explains. “The fire department’s workers and myself stopped there simultaneously, and as we spoke, I learnt that although there is a moratorium in place prohibiting them from killing bees. They do not really have the necessary equipment and know-how when it comes to relocating big swarms and eventually do end up killing them.”
It’s the reason why he wants to share his knowledge and passion for bees because he understands how important bees are for our future and that of our planet.
Why this love for bees? Cas says he just loves bees and hates to see them being killed when it really can be prevented. In conversation with him and seeing how keen he is to share information about these black and yellow workers, it is evident that this is his passion. “It has been said before that without bees we couldn’t survive. Bees are responsible for a whole lot of pollination which takes place across several plant types, naturally helping their reproduction, including beans, pumpkin, certain aloes and so on.”
And there is actually a reason for concern when some bee species have already been considered endangered and nearing extinction. If we don’t act now and save them from getting wiped off this face of the planet, then we’d lose our chance forever and have no one else to blame but ourselves.
The rusty patched bumble bee has become the first wild bee in the continental United States to gain federal protection, with the government adding it to its list of endangered and threatened species.
The bee, once widely found in the upper Midwest and Northeastern United States, was listed on Tuesday after US president Donald Trump’s administration lifted a hold it had placed on a plan for federal protections proposed last northern autumn by the administration of then-president Barack Obama.
Bumble bees are key pollinators of crops such as blueberries and cranberries, and are almost the only insect pollinator of tomatoes in the US, according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
Other groups are also gearing up for bee conservation efforts although some are baffled whether they are doing the bees more harm than good.
Even the most well intentioned initiatives can have negative consequences if you don’t do enough research before launching. Just ask General Mills.
The company, famous for cereals like Honey Nut Cheerios, which has a bee as its mascot, recently launched a “Bring Back the Bees” campaign. General Mills gave out 1.5 million wildflower seeds to customers in the hopes the seeds would get planted across the U.S. and help the declining bee population.
But some critics have argued that this initiative could actually do more harm than good. Since General Mills gave out the same seeds to customers across the country, it’s possible that the wildflowers could become invasive species in certain areas. And that could potentially hurt local ecosystems.
For many of us, it has been years and years since we last talked about bees and nature in general – in class, probably, where we had no choice but to listen lest our grades suffer. It is why many can’t hind their surprise after knowing how much of an impact the bees have to our lives and to the entire planet. These tiny buzzing insects do their best to ensure that everyone has food on their table for the years to come but are we doing our part in protecting them? It is a wake-up call for many to reassess our priorities and start making an effort in the conservation of our environment even in our own little ways – not tomorrow – but today.