Barry B. Benson is someone we could all learn a thing or two from.
That name ring a bell? It should.
Remember the small bee who longed for a bigger, better life outside of stirring honey? The one who aspired to break free from the hive and halt the production of honey?
The year was 2007, George W. Bush was president and the first iPhone hit the shelves. And, the bees were only kind of dying.
This was also the year the infamous Bee Movie was released.
I was about 11 years old when I first saw the Bee Movie. At the time, it was just another funny cartoon filled with weird jokes — some of which I didn’t understand — and bees.
Since then, the movie has turned itself into a world full of memes, bad bee puns and, best of all, societal importance.
The Bee Movie begins with Barry, who just graduated college and is looking for a job outside of the hive, far from the ‘Honex’ corporation.
Whether it be pollen counting, ‘crud picking’ or stirring, Barry simply won’t have it.
He longs for a life outside of a cubicle and when he leaves the hive discovers just that, embarking on a journey with the ‘Pollen Jocks’ to spread pollen across the city.
It isn’t until about halfway through the movie that Barry discovers ‘Ray Liotta’s Honey’ on the shelf of a grocery store. Enraged because humans are stealing the honey his colony worked so hard to produce, Barry sues honey vendors. He wins and the hive takes a break from all duties.
However, after a long break without honey production or pollen distribution, all plants and wildlife in New York City die.
It is here the movie takes a turn for the worst and we realize the true benefit that comes from bees — pollination.
The movie, although ridiculously funny, gives viewers a slight undertone of urgency and panic regarding the importance of bees.
These small insects mean a lot to the world.
According to The Guardian, “Some 84 percent of the crops grown for human consumption — around 400 different types of plants — need bees and other insects to pollinate them to increase their yields and quality.”
Bees pollinate a third of everything humans eat and play a vital role in sustaining the planet’s ecosystems, The Guardian reports.
Additionally, bees are responsible for much of the food we eat. According to an article published by CNN about the importance of bees, 1/3 of all food is pollination-dependent.
But, bees are dying at an alarming rate.
According to CBS, exposure to pesticides on chemically-treated plants is a large factor in the overall decline of bees.
It is our job to save them, and there are some easy ways to do this.
Plant bee-friendly flowers, avoid chemical pesticides in gardens and donate to organizations like ‘The Pollinator Partnership,’ whose goal is to protect and promote pollinating animals, according to CNN.
Whether someone watched the Bee Movie and felt as passionate about the bee population as I did, or simply enjoyed the memes that followed, it ultimately comes down to the louder message sent — we need bees.
The Bee Movie truly captures the importance of bees in the world. Through pollination, honey and wax, it is hard to imagine a life without bees.
So, next time you walk outside and, quite literally, smell the roses, thank the bees. We wouldn’t live on this beautiful planet without them.
Savannah Cardon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @savannahlcardon