Why should anyone care about bees?
Bees around the globe are dying off, due to:
- loss of habitat
- climate change
- certain pests
Bee extinction means less food – for us, for an expanding global human population, and for many other animals.
Imagine that, for breakfast, you enjoy eating yogurt topped with berries and almonds, with a spoonful of honey stirred in. Honey is a product of bees. Berries and almonds are fruit that result from bees carrying fertilizing pollen from flower to flower in their quest for food. Yogurt comes from dairy cows – their breakfast is alfalfa, which is also pollinated by bees. Now multiply your breakfast by 7 billion people. Then erase this breakfast from the planet. You can begin to see how protecting bees is essential to our own well-being and that of the planet.
Why should communities of faith embrace bee protection?
The world’s religions contain texts and traditions that teach us to cherish this Earth, which is our collective home. Treasuring this planet and its incredible diversity of life is a way to express our wonder at and gratitude for this gift from our Divine Source. Moreover, food and flowers are essential to our religious practices, whether it be flowers on the altar of Christian churches; the iftar meal during Ramadan; the communal kitchen, langar, of the Sikhs; the apples and honey eaten during Rosh Hashanah; flowers used in Hindu rituals; and more. Finally, faiths guide us to embrace and express values, such as moderation, selflessness, justice, thankfulness and generosity. These values form the foundation of community – with members of our own faith, with the larger human community and with the web of life that supports and nourishes us.
How can we as a faith community protect bees?
Second, you can protect bees in concrete ways: