“BEE” READY: It’s Bee Club!

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“BEE” READY: It’s Bee Club!

Selaam Dollisso, Online Managing Editor

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It’s the year 2050. The world has contended with the reunion of North and South Korea, the effects of climate change, and a Kanye presidency. Produce levels have reached an all-time low, and there is no longer enough food to sustain the massive population. It would seem that only a problem so vast could cause such a catastrophe, but this is not the case.

The culprits are actually quite small. Bees: the hardworking bundles of yellow and black who pollinate day in and day out, contributing to an estimated one-third of the world’s food supply. Bees are one of the most important species on the planet because of their necessity not only support our own survival, but to power essentially every food chain in our ecosystem. Devastatingly, for the first time in the nation’s history, seven bee species, native to Hawaii, have been placed on the endangered species list.

According to a recent article by CNN, the “ U.S. loses 30-70% of honey bee colonies a year”. There are two categories of bees to be concerned with: honey bees and wild bees- each with their own reasons for population reduction. Honey bees, as stated in their name, are used for the commercial sale of honey. The accumulation of their lives’ work is scraped from honey combs and drizzled into our lives, one supermarket shelf at a time. Wild bees are not confined for commercial use and are still out doing their thing in nature. The main reason the wild bees are dying is because of the dissipation of their environment.

Dr. Christopher Conolly of Dundee University states why this is such an urgent matter in an interview with CNN: 

“In the U.K. we’ve lost 97% of all our wild-flower meadows. These are places where the wild pollinators live, nest. If we destroy these, then we reduce the food available for them and the very diet they need, and also places to nest over winter. And if we lose the wild pollinators, if anything happens to our honey bees, we’ll be in a very serious position.”

Pesticides have a multitude of negative effects on bees including inhibiting their ability to do high-end cognitive thinking such as, learning, navigation, and communication. There has also been a study on male bees where the chemicals acted as a contraceptive- only worsening the case of population drop. Without shelter, flowers to feed on, and pesticides infecting their hives, bees are continuing to die off in big waves. No matter how much we hate their sting, we need them in order to survive. In the words of Barry Bee Benson in “The Bee Movie”, it’s time for us to start “thinking bee”.imgres-3

Juniors Deeksha Sarda and Eileen Murray are doing just that, creating Ames High’s first club dedicated solely to these proud pollinators by brainstorming solutions and informing students (and the public) about this devastating problem. The inspiration for this one-of-a-kind club came from their AP Biology final. 

“[We] won’t be able to maintain current produce levels without…  bees… unless an alternative method is found.We decided to start the club to raise awareness and to help save bees.”, the two shared. 

The club’s goal is to have a lot of discussion in order to gain knowledge about the various problems causing this decline in bees and brainstorm solutions.

“We hope to use that knowledge by [doing] outreach projects… hopefully [we can] teach… kids and get them excited… to help. We are also considering going to a Story County Conservation program or even a honey farm!”

Additionally, they plan on having fundraisers here at Ames High to raise awareness among students, as well as raise money for a few year-long projects.

“One of our main goals is to build 2-3 pollinator hotels and donate them to parks around Ames. They’re basically wooden structures that provide a place for native bees to live since humans are depleting them of their natural homes.”

The club meets in Ms. Edster’s room during Friday Plus Periods. “Bee” there, or be square.

 

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