Bees are really interesting insects. You’re probably familiar with the honey bee, bumblebee, yellow jacket, but there are about 20,000 species of bees. Bees are found in all habitats and they play a very important role, some might look different, they might have different names but they all do the same basic thing, for us and the environment. They pollinate plants and make sure they reproduce. Many people are afraid or don’t like bees, without them we wouldn’t have enough food to sustain us, and the world would be much different.
What Is Pollination And Why Is It Important?
Pollination occurs when pollen grains from the male anther of the flower are transferred to the female stigma of another flower. Once pollination occurs, the fertilized flowers produce seeds, which enables the plant to reproduce.
The most important thing that bees do is pollinate, many plants depend on bees and other insects as pollinators. Among the top 100 crops that make up 90% of peoples diets around the world, bees are responsible for pollination over 70% of crops and 80% of flowering plants
We take bees for granted, let’s imagine that all bees have turned extinct, what would happen? you’d think that not much right? wrong, you would see the reproduction of fruits and vegetables drop to 1/3000 of what It used to be with bees. This may happen to agave, alfalfa, almonds, apples, asparagus, beans, beets, blackberries, blueberries, Brussel sprouts, buckwheat, cabbage, cantaloupe, cauliflower, celery, cherries, chestnuts, chives, clover, cranberries, cucumber, currants, eggplant, flax, garlic, gooseberries, grapes, horseradish, kale, lettuce, mustard, onions, parsley, peaches, pears, plums, pumpkins, radishes, raspberries, rhubarb, squash, strawberries, sunflowers, sweet potatoes, turnip, and watermelon.
Some will be affected more than others, but they are all dependant on bees and other insects for their pollination. Without bees, we would have little to none of those foods. Without bees, our forests and Greenlands won’t look the same.
Honey And Products
There are only about 7 species within the honeybee family, honeybees collect nectar and pollen from flowers to make honey. They produce honey, propolis, beeswax, and royal jelly. Honeybees have the distinction of being the only insect that produces a consumed by humans. An average bee colony produces 60 – 100 pounds of honey per year. An average worker bee makes about 1/12 teaspoon of honey in its lifetime. A healthy hive will contain a population of approximately 50,000 bees.
Honey can be found in many foods and drinks. There are also hundreds of health and beauty products with honey as a main ingredient, honey is rich in many nutrients, and antioxidants. It can help lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol, lower triglycerides, burn and wound healing, and suppress coughs in children. Linked to other beneficial effects on heart health, above all, it’s delicious.
There are many other products that are made with a bit of help from bees e.g. candles, beauty products, lip balm, chewing gum, waxy coating of cheese, hair, and skin products.
I hope now if you look at a bee, you’ll see it in a better way and remember how much they affect your life in a good way.