BANGALORE: Ever wondered why Chaucer coined the phrase ‘busy as a bee’? Do they actually spend all their time storing nectar and pollen, making honey, royal jelly and beebread, producing wax, and caring for the queen and the drones? Nowadays, these social workers are compelled to find better homes due to multiple reasons: be it lack of natural habitat or being unwelcome in urban spaces. These bees are fast disappearing leaving environmentalists wondering about the side effects that come along with it.
Bangalore now faces the issue of depleting population of honey bees leading to a variety of problems like loss in the quantity and quality of honey, decrease in pollination in plants which directly threatens our food security.
The problem of lack of good water affects the bees profoundly. Bees require four to five litres of water in order to produce one kg of honey. They are forced to depend on sewage water which slows down the process of honey making and at times even kills them.
Yet another issue is the absence of ficus trees in Bangalore. There needs to be a supplementary relation between bees and ficus trees as they are co-dependent. The fine-drawn relationship between these plants and insects is a critical point to protect the environment and the ecological system.
Over the years, pollution has increased which has scared them in setting up their combs on trees. Smoke from vehicles threaten them and they feel the need to move away. Their natural habitat has been compromised and they are now resolving to build their hives elsewhere. An increase in bee hives on balconies, rooftops and even grills on buildings has been noticed which has led to uncomfortable living and
This in turn has urged people to call for pest control and have them taken away and even exterminated.
Environmentalist Jayaram expressed his strong disparagement towards pest control. “They use poison to kill bees instead of scaring them away with smoke. Bees build the hives on buildings as they have no other place to do so,” he said.
“The bees won’t trouble anyone unless meddled with their hives or lives. People have wrong notions about these creatures and have no knowledge on how valuable they are to the environment,” he added.
Yellappa Reddy, noted environmentalist, says, “Man is the most selfish form God has created. We have destroyed all heritage trees needed for the survival of bees. We talk about right to live but we have implied this only for human beings and there are no such rights for animals, birds or insects. We should remember that if there are no pollinators, then there will be no food.”
He hopes that the residents of Bangalore will soon understand the importance of bees and will take serious measures in providing them a home and ensuring their safety,