For Freshmen. By Freshmen.
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Sep 03 2017
by Victoria Nguyen

5 Reasons Why College Students Should Care About Saving The Bees

By Victoria Nguyen - Sep 03 2017

Things college students daydream about starter pack: The Bee Movie, receiving a bouquet of flowers, being called "honey" in approximately 20 years down the line and inhaling avocados.  All these things wouldn't be possible without bees! If daydreaming is dreaming about the future ... we wouldn't even have a future with bees. 

Bees were added to the US endangered-species list just one year ago in 2016 due to pesticides, which impairs their natural defense systems, causing them to stay in their nest and infect others. With that being said, here are five reasons why college students should care about saving the bees.

1. Without bees, our diet would be very bland.

Bees pollinate approximately 75 percent of the fruits, nuts and vegetables grown in the USAA few of these include apples, mangoes, watermelons, lemons, broccoli, bok choy, almonds and vanilla. Furthermore, contemporary chefs use honey in many of their dishes - from salad dressings to barbecues, stir frys, fusion food and delicious desserts.

2. Can your MCM dance, be good at math, get directions without Google Maps and reverse brain-aging? 

Bees communicate with each other using the waggle dance. They're able to tell each other the quality of nectar and how to get to that field. In order to save time and energy, bees figure out the shortest route to a nectar field, similar to how Google Maps is able to figure out the shortest route to your destination. A bee's honeycomb uses the geometrical hexagon shape which eliminates gaps, and reduces the beeswax needed to build it. All humans can act like somebody that they aren't, but bees can literally be younger than they actually are. An associate professor in ASU’s School of Life Sciences presented findings that show that tricking older bees into doing social tasks that younger bees typically do inside the nest causes changes in the molecular structure of their brains. In short, never underestimate something's capabilities just because they're smaller than you. 

3. What in carnation? 

Bees collect nectar from flowers, which they use to produce honey. A bee can pollinate up to 5,000 flowers per day! Flowers play a big role in celebrations such as weddings and holidays, as well as sorrowful occasions such as hospital visits and funerals. They are a symbol of peace. Bee-pollinated flowers are used in some of our favorite teas including jasmine, hibiscus and chamomile.  Flowers add depth and beauty to any area. What do oxygen providing flowers and bee services have in common? They're free.  

4. DIY pollination isn't efficient.

Bees have been pollinating for free for about 65 million years, whereas hand pollination is very uncommon and tedious. Hand pollination involves going from one flower to another with a paintbrush and a little jar of pollen. Due to this, hand pollination can only be done on a small scale. 

5. Bees save us money.

If bees go extinct, we would have to pay workers to manually pollinate each and every crop, which would only increase the price and reduce the amount of crops. Vegetables and fruits, especially organics, are already expensive enough. Everyone should be able to eat healthy by having affordable access to fruits and vegetables. And honestly, as college students who are at risk for the freshman 15, we can't afford this.

What College Students Can Do To Help

How can you help something that you're afraid is going to sting you? If a bee lands on you, stay calm. Bees have the ability to sense pheromones of fear, which may cause them to sting you. You can even help without even coming in contact with the bees! A few ways you can do so is by purchasing local/organic crops and honey, planting flowers that are pollen rich (a list can be found here), voting for politicians that are environmentalists, symbolically adopting a bee from World Wildlife Fund, spreading awareness by sharing articles, joining environmental clubs on campus and doing things together as a group for a greater impact! 

As college students, it may seem as if these small acts are almost insignificant, but as Napoleon Hill says, "If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way." Change is a collective effort, and together we can bee the change. 

Lead Image Credit: Unsplash via Anthony Rossbach

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Victoria Nguyen - University of California, Irvine

Victoria Nguyen is a freshman at University of California Irvine majoring in Social Ecology. Follow her on Instagram! @victoriatsn

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