“Where’s the Buzz?” by Eileen Wong

Summer is the season of music: the singing of cicadas, the splashing of water, and the buzzing of bumblebees.  All is well except the furry, black and yellow creatures.  Over the years, there has been a major decline of these insects.   In fact, all over the world many native species of bumblebees have gone extinct.

Bumblebees play an extremely crucial role in keeping the life cycle going.  They pollinate our plants so that we can have fruits and vegetables like tomatoes.  Animals eat these to live.  If our cows, pigs, and chickens have no access to these essential nutrients then they will die and we will not have meat anymore.  Soon our “greens” will perish as well and you are going to wish you ate that broccoli five years ago.

There is no definite answer to what is causing the disappearance of bumblebees.   However, I believe the biggest culprit is the use of insecticides.  As the world population grows, monocultures increase in number in order to keep humans fed.  As a result, farmers feel obligated to use insecticides and obtain the best crops in the shortest time possible.  The chemicals contained in these pesticides are harmful and deadly to the internal organs of bumblebees.  These small pollinators cannot survive in such an unnatural environment.

In the end, both the crops and the farmers’ job will suffer from the consequences.

Fortunately, there are several ways to help save bumblebees and it begins from your own backyard.  Firstly, grow some heather plants in your garden.  They not only look beautiful but also provide shelter for queen bumblebees that are too cold or weak to fly at that moment.  Secondly, plant various types of flowers such as honeysuckle next to your heather plants.  This allows queen bumblebees to feed on the nectar and gain energy to take care of baby bumblebees.  Thirdly, if you see a queen bumblebee somewhere in your garden that is alive and not moving then you should bring it inside your home.  It may sound outrageous and dangerous but in that state, the queen bumblebee actually cannot do anything harmful.  If you really want to gain its trust then feed it sugar and water (30% sugar and 70% water).  With this sweet act, the creature will thank you by pollinating plants and providing food for you to survive.  Fourthly, do not use insecticides.  Support natural insect repellents and organic farmers.  Lastly, sign petitions to stop corporations from using insecticides and spread the word about these solutions.

Any helping hand will definitely contribute to sustaining life of all creatures on Earth, not just bumblebees.  Act now.  If we do not do something now, we are not only putting our animals at risk of extinction but also our own lives.

For more information, visit: http://www.bumblebee.org/helpbees.htm

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Published by: G.R.E.E.N. G.R.A.S.S.

G.R.E.E.N. G.R.A.S.S., which is an acronym for Glendon Residence Environmental E-Newsletter & Glendon Roots and Shoots' Serial, is a newsletter and serial blog created and maintained by Glendon Roots and Shoots and its creation was inspired by the Glendon Residence Environmental Committee's Glendon Residence Environmental E-Newsletter (GREEN), thus its namesake. Our goal for GREEN GRASS is to spread awareness on environmentalism and sustainability by publishing submitted articles from Glendon's very own environmental activists and students. Published once a month, we hope to inspire fellow Glendonites and netizens beyond to become active world citizens and conscious consumers by sharing fellow students' voice of concern for the well-being of Mother Nature as we also promote G.R.A.S.' projects and initiatives. Thanks for reading~

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