Do you like strawberry ice cream?

 

My name is Piotr Socha, I am 54 years old, I am a cartoonist and an author of books for children and young people. Although I went to school a long time ago, I still have a huge thirst for knowledge. I love reading books. I would love to know more, to understand the world around me better. Good books help me a lot in this.

Working on books gives me great pleasure, because by collecting information, which will later be used to create a book, I learn many interesting and surprising things about which I had no idea. And I love curiosities.

 

This was the case when I was working on the book Bees. With this book, I wanted to give pleasure to my parents, who ran an apiary for 40 years. Sometimes I helped them to pick up the honey. For many years, I was convinced that the only thing we owe to bees is sweet honey. I was wrong. Honey is not the most important thing here, it is just a sweet addition. We owe bees much more than that.

While working on this book, I made a discovery of which I had not been aware my whole life. I understood the mechanism that governs nature. I remember my excitement when I understood what insects and flowers have in common, that they need each other to live. Flowers need insects to reproduce, and insects need flowers because they find food in them. Children learn this in primary school, but I only realised it when I was almost 50 years old. And when it occurred to me that we too benefit from this mutual relationship between insects and plants, because the pollinated flowers produce fruit and vegetables, I realised what giants these tiny, inconspicuous insects are. It is never too late to learn. You don't have to go to the other side of the world to see something exciting. Just go to a park or a meadow and see what is humming in the grass. There are really fascinating things happening there.

 

 

Someone once said that if all the bees suddenly disappeared, within four years there would not be enough food for people and animals on our planet. We would have nothing to eat. Imagine that one day all the fruit and vegetables that we eat every day and love so much would disappear: apples, pears, strawberries, oranges, grapes, watermelons, lemons, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and many, many more. And we will never again drink orange juice, eat raspberry ice cream or tomato soup. 

It is to bees and other pollinating insects that we owe most of the food we eat every day. We have been benefiting from their free work for thousands of years. Bees already lived on Earth about 100 million years ago, at a time when dinosaurs walked the planet. The dinosaurs became extinct over 60 million years ago, and the tiny delicate bees are still alive today. Although in recent years they have started to become seriously ill and disappear en masse, and it is our fault. If we do not stop this process, we are in serious trouble.

 

For thousands of years, we humans have behaved as if we were masters of the world, as if the world belonged to us, as if everything that grows and lives on Earth were our property. For a long time we thought that the Earth's resources were infinite. And now we are beginning to realise that we were greatly mistaken. We are becoming painfully aware that if we do not change our ways, in the near future we will share the fate of the dinosaurs, which were once the largest animals inhabiting the Earth, and today there are only bones left buried in the ground.It is to bees and other pollinating insects that we owe most of the food we eat every day. We have been benefiting from their free work for thousands of years. Bees already lived on Earth about 100 million years ago, at a time when dinosaurs walked the planet. The dinosaurs became extinct over 60 million years ago, and the tiny delicate bees are still alive today. Although in recent years they have started to become seriously ill and disappear en masse, and it is our fault. If we do not stop this process, we are in serious trouble.

For years I have heard the slogans: "respect the green", "let's take care of the environment", but it was only in recent years that it occurred to me how serious the consequences of neglecting nature and disregarding its laws can be. For several years we have been hearing about the threat of a climate catastrophe, the consequences of which may be fatal for us.

 

We humans are not masters of the Earth, although many people think we are. We are only one of the species of mammals that inhabit it and one day we may become extinct, like so many other species. We are an extraordinary species, we can do brilliant things, but at the same time we are the biggest predators on the planet, more dangerous than lions and tigers. More dangerous because we are destroying our planet, our home. We are destroying it with our greed, our stupidity, our lack of imagination, our thoughtlessness, our gluttony. And we do not have another, spare planet. We will not all fly to Mars. Our fate as a species is in our hands.

 

And so, from the story of the tiny bees, we moved on to the story of us, of how we are just a part of nature, not masters of the world. Nature, nature painfully reminds us of this. We cannot win against it. We should not fight it, but live in harmony with it. Nature can do very well without us humans, we cannot do without it.

 

We live on a planet that has created extremely unique conditions that allow us to live on it. Let us appreciate this before it is too late. By looking after the planet, we look after ourselves. By caring for the bees, by caring for their well-being, we are caring for ourselves. Superman is not going to come along and save us in some miraculous way. We can only do that ourselves.And so, from the story of the tiny bees, we moved on to the story of us, of how we are just a part of nature, not masters of the world. Nature, nature painfully reminds us of this. We cannot win against it. We should not fight it, but live in harmony with it. Nature can do very well without us humans, we cannot do without it.

 

(Translated from Polish by the free version of www.DeepL.com/Translator)