Why Saving the Honeybee is Damaging to Wild Bees
Recently, we've seen a host of celebrities advocating for the saving of bees; from actor Morgan Freeman, who has converted his ranch into a honeybee sanctuary, footballer David Beckham, who has taken up backyard beekeeping, to actress Angelina Jolie, who has partnered with UNESCO in creating the "Women for Bees" project - a project that trains and supports female beekeeper-entrepreneurs around the world.
On face value, it all looks very admirable and who can really criticise anyone whose aim and intention is to try to help reverse the detrimental effects, ultimately caused by human behaviour, that's afflicting bees around the world.
But the truth is, it's not the honey bee that needs saving, it's wild bees. Honey bees are not at threat of extinction, and their population worldwide has been steadily increasing. The Apis mellifera (honeybee), is the only species that produces an edible food that humans can eat, in such quantities that we can harvest. Some bumblebees also produce a type of honey, but not to the extent that can be exploited.
Indeed, it is our exploitation and mass management of the honeybee that is contributing to the endangerment of wild bee species, with some, nearing extinction or already extinct.
Although the honey bee faces threats such as the use of pesticides, habitat loss etc, the "Save the Bees" global movement does little to educate the general public on the different species of bees and which kinds are critically endangered.
Here we share an informative video produced by Planet A explaining why we're focussed on saving the wrong kind of bee. Hopefully, by the end of it, you will come to the conclusion, that when we say "save the bees", maybe we should change that plea to "save wild bees".