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Would we survive without bees?

If you’ve ever googled anything relating to bee extinction, you may have come across this notorious Einstein quote:

“If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live.”
Albert Einstein

While it is unlikely Einstein ever said these words, the quote has made its way into the depths of bee blogs, articles, and reports because of its relevant message. 

Our diet

A common misconception is that a world without bees would only make us deprived of jars of honey. In reality, the problem goes far beyond a lack of honey.

Since bees pollinate 70% of the crops that feed 90% of the planet, within just three months of bees going extinct producers would be facing record-low harvest yields for a several food staples. To put this statistic differently, one out of every three mouthfuls of food in your diet would be impacted by a world without bees. 

Without bees, our diet would become very repetitive and bland. There would be no delicious apples, cucumbers, avocados, mangos, and walnuts. Not to mention, no more oat flat whites and iced lattes as the production of coffee beans depends heavily on bee pollination. 

Beef, milk, and cheese would also be affected because bees pollinate alfalfa; cows consume alfalfa, and the average human eats over 35kg of beef each year. So not only would vegetables be missing from your plate, but also the protein!

The diagram below is an astonishing representation of a summer picnic in a world without bees! Notice the fruit salad consisting of only banana and pineapple, no lemonade, no salads and plain sauce-less pasta…

 

Our wardrobe 

As well as your diet becoming bland, so would your wardrobe. Cotton is reliant on bee pollination, so a lack of bees would lead to a huge setback in cotton production.   

Now back to the question: would we be able to survive without bees? The short answer is yes, we would be able to survive without bees but in a world with significantly reduced food and clothing options, a lot less greenery, and of course there would be no honey!

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