World Bee Day: Australia Zoo's plea to protect vital species
COFFEE and chocolate lovers could face the demise of their favourite treats with one of the worlds smallest animals under threat.
Without pollinators like bees, bats, birds and butterflies, more than 75 per cent of the world's food crops wouldn't exist.
Editor of Crikey! Magazine, Luke Reavley, said one in every three bites of food was derived from plants pollinated by bees.
"Without bees we would have to forget life's favourite treats like chocolate and coffee because these important insects are crucial to maintaining both human managed and natural ecosystems," he said.
"We would also see the decline in other popular fruits and vegetables like blueberries, apples and cucumbers to name a few."
Pollinating species around the world were being threatened by habitat loss, the use of pesticides and climate change and so Australia Zoo encouraged locals to help bees as part of World Bee Day today.
"At Australia Zoo we have recently introduced hives for native bees, which is not only wonderful for our gardens, but on a bigger scale, it also helps our local environment," Mr Reavley said.
"Bees are essential to maintaining a healthy ecosystem, with almost 90 per cent of wild flowering plants relying on bees."
Mr Reavley said Australia was home to about 2000 species of bees, most of which didn't actually sting and were critically important to human survival.
"Helping bees is really simple," he said.
"Plant native, pollinator-friendly plants and get a native beehive for your garden, it makes a huge difference.
"This, along with avoiding pesticides will allow bees to carry out their important role in our environment."