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Australia Zoo highlights the importance of bees on World Bee Day

Australia Zoo highlights the importance of bees on World Bee Day
May 20, 2019

With the rapid decline of bees, our planet and the future of humankind is under threat. Today, 20th May is World Bee Day and Australia Zoo are spreading the important message of how vital bees are to our environment.

Bees are essential to maintaining a healthy ecosystem. Almost 90% of wild flowering plants relying on bees, bats, birds and butterflies to spread their pollen which is vital to keeping people and the planet healthy.

Pollinators like bees, maintain biodiversity and a vibrant environment that agriculture depends on, and without this a staggering 75% percent of the world’s food crops simply wouldn’t exist.

30% of the food we eat is derived from plants pollinated by bees, so the loss of this keystone species would change the way we all live.

“Without bees we would have to forget life’s favourite treats like chocolate and coffee because these important insects are crutial to maintaining both human managed and natural ecosystems. We would also see the decline in other popular fruits and vegetables like blueberries, apples and cucumbers to name a few!” said Luke Reavley, Editor of Australia Zoo’s Crikey! Magazine.

In Australia and around the world, some of the biggest threats to bees and other pollinators like bats, birds and butterflies include habitat loss, the use of pesticides and climate change. The United Nations estimates that the annual value of global crops that depend on pollinators is estimated to be worth US$577 billion.

At Australia Zoo we have recently introduced hives for native bees, which is not only wonderful for our gardens, but on a bigger scale, it also helps our local environment.

“Helping bees is really simple! Plant native, pollinator-friendly plants and get a native beehive for your garden - it makes a huge difference. This, along with avoiding pesticides will allow bees to carry out their important role in our environment,” said Reayley.

In Australia alone, it’s estimated that there are around 2,000 species of bees, 11 of which are honeymaking bees. Contrary to popular belief, most bees don’t sting and are critically important to our survival.

Image top: The Australian native blue-banded bee in flight with extended prosbosis courtesy of  Erica Siegel Wildlife Photography

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