Around the world, bee colonies are dying at horrifying rates. In the US alone, it is estimated that 44% of the colonies were lost in 2016 alone.
So what is causing this sharp and rapid decline? You guessed it: humans.
Things like overuse of pesticides, diesel fumes along with intensive farming practices from introduced species have contributed. And if things don’t improve soon — we could possibly face a huge collapse in our food supply.
This is because the tiny creatures pollinate up to 80% of our crops and if they were to continue dying at these rates, we will no longer have the plants that we rely on — along with a whole swath of other animals that need them too.
So who you gonna call?!
That’s right, Sweden-based McDonald’s are doing their part in helping our very important friends by hosting beehives on the roof of their restaurants.
Some are even planting flowers outside as well, creating a bee-friendly environment that has actually helped boost the population in the Scandinavian country.
McDonald’s commissioned a professional carpenter to create the “smallest ever McDonald’s,” which is, a fully functioning beehive featuring a McDonald’s sign, drive through, an outside seating area and a little advertisements on the windows.
Customers at the “McHive” were all in such awe of the space that they could only buzz.
The Swedish initiative could turn out to be a massive help to bees if adopted in other countries.
There are currently 37,000 restaurants around the globe…which means a lot of potential bees all over the world!
“We have a lot of really devoted franchisees who contribute to our sustainability work, and it feels good that we can use our size to amplify such a great idea as beehives on the rooftops,” said marketing director of McDonald’s Sweden, Christoffer Rönnblad.
Recently, the EU enforced a complete ban on the outdoor use of neonicotinoids, widely used pesticides that endanger bees and have added to their decline in a big way.
But in the US, our current administration approved a dump of bee-killing pesticides on 16 million acres of land with the use of “emergency” approval to save cotton crops.
But before you start chanting “save the bees!” it should be noted which bees we are actually talking about.
“Honey bees will be fine. They are a globally distributed, domesticated animal. Apis mellifera will not go extinct, and the species is not remotely threatened with extinction.” Gwen Pearson writes in the WIRED article on You’re Worried About The Wrong Bees.
So which bees should we be worrying about?
“The bees you should be concerned about are the 3,999 other bee species living in North America, most of which are solitary, stingless, ground-nesting bees you’ve never heard of. Incredible losses in native bee diversity are already happening. 50 percent of Midwestern native bee species disappeared from their historic ranges in the last 100 years. Four of our bumblebee species declined 96 percent in the last 20 years, and three species are believed to already be extinct.”
So what can be done about it?
Refrain from using any pesticides, fungicides or herbicides on plants or in your gardens as the plants will get contaminated and the product will likely reach the bees which will kill them. Another tip? Plant your garden with native and bee friendly plants. For more ideas on how to help bees to buzz on, click here.
NOW WATCH: Sweden Actually Turns It’s Garbage Into Energy | Save The World