It’s a story we have heard before… human intervention is killing bees.
The first evaluation of the Belgian bee population in 26 years took place and returned results that are of grave concern. Most bees are classified in the category “threatened with extinction” (33%), or no longer present in Belgium (12%) or as almost threatened (7%). This study was carried out by BELBEES Scientific Project.
More than 50% of Belgium’s bees are gone, due mainly to human intervention in ways associated with modern life. The problem is so urgent that the University of Mons, University of Liege, the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Natuurpunt, the ULB University and Natagora came together and created a “Red List of Bees in Belgium” project.
By creating this Red List, it will educate the public about which species are most threatened, and specific measures of protection can be taken.
This 3:56-minute long video takes us into a "what if" bees disappeared...
The bees are declining in number because their habitats are fragmented or gone, removed to make way for housing developments, roads and city structures. However, much of the damage and destruction comes from the agricultural arena, where pesticides and fertilizers are used, sometimes in large quantities. Urbanization also plays a factor as fewer wild flowers and open fields are available.
Some areas that are considered special habitats, like heath lands or limestone grasslands, need to be restored or protected because they are significantly endangered.
Some of the areas of Belgium that are particularly well known for a large variety of bee species are the eastern Kempen region, Sandy Flanders, the surroundings of the capital city Brussels and a few other areas.
What are you doing for the bees? Sometimes human inaction is as deadly to a bee's survival as human action.
In Belgium, just like everywhere else, it falls to each individual to do something to help save the bees, so together we can start to turn the tide.