Honey and wild bees account for 90% of the insects that pollinate1 our fruits and vegetables. Among these fruits and vegetables, apples, onions, cucumbers, almonds, peanuts and cotton depend exclusively or almost exclusively on bees for pollination.
It is therefore very important to make sure bees survive so we can ensure our own survival.
Where are the bees?
Bee colonies are collapsing all around the world. There are several factors for these collapses, but the scientific community is unanimous that two are the main cause:
First, varroa, which is a parasitic mite of the honey bee. It causes an illness – varroosis – that attacks adult bees and larvae and gradually weakens the colony. Because it has spread nearly everywhere honey bees are present, varroosis has become a global problem.
Second, the famous neonicotinoids, a type of pesticide used in agriculture and horticulture to get rid of parasites, weaken bees and make them more vulnerable to disease and bad weather.
Because sustainable development is solution-driven, there are, luckily, solutions to this problem:
- Combat the use and proliferation of the bio-aggressors previously mentioned
- Gradually introduce honey bees to our urban centres, in balance with the hundreds of species of wild bee and other pollinators
For example, at iA, we have several honey bee hives on the roof of some of our buildings in Quebec City, Toronto and Montreal. These bees produce honey that we then sell to our employees. The profits are donated to the United Way.
And remember, the benefits of bees on your health go well beyond the honey they produce.