Ahhh the fresh scent of the produce section. For me the familiar smell always brings a smile to my face. Now I assume that most people don't smile upon seeing a pile of apples at the grocers, but we all have our favorite fruit and vegetable, and theres not much that can replace the essential nutrients they contain. What would happen though if they slowly started disappearing? What would happen if we lived in a world where flowers were a rare luxury, or one where we could never taste the sweetness of honey? As bees disappear so is much of our produce. 45% of the crops in North America are pollinated by bees. Now the cultivation of crops is not solely dependent on bees, and even a fraction of that 45% gets pollinated by other means. So why are bees so important? Studies on the effectiveness of bee pollination have shown that trees and plants pollinated by bees yield a much higher percentage of offspring than ones pollinated by other means. Also bees pollinate from different sources which gives the offspring greater genetic variance. Where as wind only pollinates vegetation planted close together bees carry pollen as far as a mile from the source, pollinating all over. If bees die out it is estimated that 30% of all North American crops will die and the remaining 70% will yield lower fruit and offspring ratios, ultimately this will raise the price of every food, and not just produce. Because grain is used to feed live stock it will become more expensive to raise them thus the price of meat and dairy products will go up. Some species of flower have a low pollination rate due to the fact that they have sheltered Gynoecium (which absorb pollen to reproduce), this makes it almost impossible for them to be pollinated by the wind or other means, because of this bees are usually their only means of reproduction. This would eventually lead to their extinction. Now you may be saying to yourself this is great but what does this have to do with me? Well its simple there is a great way to preserve bees and its been around for hundreds of years... Beekeeping. Beekeeping results in strengthened hives which make them less susceptible to HCD (hive collapse disorders) It's simple to get started too, there is some money involved usually but many websites out there like http://www.beesource.com/build-it-yourself/
, that show you how to build your own hives for cheap and how to start a hive. So if your looking for a hobby thats as helpful as it is sweet I highly recommend beekeeping.