The importance of bees 蜜蜂的重要性

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你喜歡蜜蜂嗎?除了能帶來蜂蜜以外,它們作為傳粉昆蟲,也是生態系統中重要的一環。近來,這類毛絨絨的小動物的數量正在持續下降,這是為什麼?本期 “隨身英語” 節目討論保護蜜蜂的重要性。

詞匯:bees and wildlife 蜜蜂與野生動植物

How do you feel about bees? Do you get irritated when they buzz around you and do you fear their mission is just to sting you? Love them or loathe them, these little insects are extremely important creatures, and without them we might starve.

Bees deserve some respect – they give us honey, and they play their part either pollinating the many vegetables and fruits we eat directly or pollinating the food for the animals that we then consume. In fact, they are the world’s most important pollinators. That’s not all – a study by the University of Reading in the UK, found bees and other pollinating insects have a global economic value of around £120bn ($150bn) and contribute around £690m ($850m) to the UK economy every year.

So, bees are worth protecting, and although a small number of bee species are vital for crops such as oilseed rape, apples and strawberries, experts say we should be taking care of all our bees. Researchers say conservation efforts should be aimed at a wide number of species – even those that currently contribute little to crop pollination – in order to maintain biodiversity and ensure future food security.

Unfortunately, in recent times, bee populations have been declining due to pesticides, parasites, disease and habitat loss. It’s something we should be worried about because, as Gill Perkins, chief executive of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, told BBC Future website: “They provide a whole ecosystem service.” The recent lockdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic seem to have given bee populations a little boost because they faced less human disturbance, traffic and polluting fumes.

Conservationists hope, going forward, people will appreciate bees more and encourage them to thrive as they reconnect with nature. Gill Perkins says, “They are beginning to realise how their mental health and wellbeing is supported by nature – particularly by bumblebees, which are so iconic and beautiful and buzzy.” So, it really seems time to give bees a second chance.

詞匯表

buzz 嗡嗡地叫
sting 叮,蜇
insect 昆蟲
pollinate 給(植物)傳授花粉
pollinator 傳粉昆蟲
species 物種
oilseed rape 歐洲油菜
conservation (對動植物的)保護
biodiversity 生物多樣性
pesticide 農藥,殺蟲劑
parasite 寄生生物
habitat loss 棲息地流失
ecosystem 生態系統
thrive 繁衍生息,茁壯成長
nature 自然
bumblebee 大黃蜂
give (something or someone) a second chance 再給(某物或人)一次機會

測驗與練習

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. What do bees do to the fruits and vegetables we eat?

2. How much global economic value are pollinating insects thought to have?

3. What reasons have contributed to the decline in bee populations?

4. True or false? Gill Perkins says reconnecting with nature helps improve the mental health of bumblebees.

5. How many bee species are responsible for pollinating crops like oilseed rape?

2.  選擇意思恰當的單詞或詞組來完成下列句子。

1. A rare _______ of bird has been found in the Amazon rainforest.

parasites                     species                           biodiversity                nature

2. A _______ project has helped increase the elephant population in Africa.

conservationist            conservational                conservation              conserve

3. This plant _______ in shady areas so should be perfect for your garden.

thrives                         pollinates                         ecosystem                 parasites

4. I was going to dump my boyfriend but decided to _______.

give him a seconds chance                                 gave him a second chance

given him a second chances                               give him a second chance

5. Since the farmer sprayed _______ on his crops, people nearby have been complaining of breathing difficulties. 

parasites                       pesticides                       oilseed rape              pollinators

答案 

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. What do bees do to the fruits and vegetables we eat?
They pollinate them.

2. How much global economic value are pollinating insects thought to have?
A study by the University of Reading in the UK, found bees and other pollinating insects have a global economic value of around £120bn ($150bn).

3. What reasons have contributed to the decline in bee populations?
In recent times, bee populations have been declining due to pesticides, parasites, disease and habitat loss.

4. True or false? Gill Perkins says reconnecting with nature helps improve the mental health of bumblebees.
False. She said people are beginning to realise how their mental health and wellbeing is supported by nature.

5. How many bee species are responsible for pollinating crops like oilseed rape?
Only a small number of bee species are vital for crops such as oilseed rape, apples and strawberries.

2.  選擇意思恰當的單詞或詞組來完成下列句子。

1. A rare species of bird has been found in the Amazon rainforest.

2. A conservation project has helped increase the elephant population in Africa.

3. This plant thrives in shady areas so should be perfect for your garden.

4. I was going to dump my boyfriend but decided to give him a second chance.

5. Since the farmer sprayed pesticides on his crops, people nearby have been complaining of breathing difficulties.