Half of the world’s rain forests have already disappeared, permanently destroyed for human activity. It is estimated that 18 million acres of forest are burned or clear-cut every year, or 36 football fields every minute. In many areas – Indonesia, Brazil, Thailand, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo – trees represent the most valuable and abundant source of energy. But it is also removed to make room for housing, urbanization, and cattle ranching, or to make commercial products like paper, palm oil, or furniture.

The majority of people don’t live near any forests, as the majority are now located in Alaska, Canada, rural and Siberian Russia, and the Northwestern Amazon Basin. Otherwise, how could they? Over 90 percent of the forests in America have been cleared since 1600.

Deforestation is a problem for everyone, just as Colony Collapse Disorder is. The loss of forest habitat can lead to the extinction of forest dwelling species, destabilizing the natural food chain we rely on. The water cycle would also be inadvertently affected, as a large quantity of the Earth’s water is absorbed by trees, reducing water pollution through natural filtering and releasing the water back into the atmosphere as vapor.

Further, more than 20 percent of the world’s oxygen is produced by the Amazon rain forest alone. Forests are the world’s air filters through which the pollution of our activities is absorbed, and the clean oxygen we rely on is produced. Trees store an estimated 300 billion tons of carbon dioxide, or 40 times the annual global emissions from fossil fuels. But when we clear-cut and burn these forests, not only can the trees no longer filter out the carbon, the carbon that they stored is released back into the atmosphere, so that we effectively double down on our own destruction.

BeesAndThankYou intends to do for the trees the same as we do for the bees. We want the public to be more aware, and we want to counter the effects of shortsighted human industrial activity. We plan on planting our own trees, so that someday the fruits of our labor can become the forests of tomorrow. The donations we receive will also be used to fund initiatives to spread information through our festival presence.