A 20th century warning on #WorldBeeDay, which was yesterday, it appears…
In 1958, Chairman Mao Zedong started the Four Pests Campaign, otherwise known as the Great Sparrow Campaign, as part of the Great Leap Forward.
Mao ordered the eradication of rats, flies, mosquitoes and, notably, sparrows.
But this ecological imbalance caused insect populations to boom, with locusts in particular wreaking havoc, eating crops intended as food.
This horrific error on the part of the Chinese government is widely considered to have worsened the Great Chinese Famine, which caused between 20 to 45 million deaths. Just because sparrows were being exterminated from the ecological system. Seemingly irrelevant animals are often anything but.
Cross-pollination facilitated by bees has a role in the growth of around one-third of the world’s crops. We need to look after the bees.