Why Honey Bees mater for our planet
Honey Bees, these little heroes
You may have heard, at any rate, a few facts about bees around: maybe it was on how they are currently disappearing, how it is now broadly recognized that this phenomenon is catastrophic for the environment. But do you really know why though? Let’s take a moment to focus on these precious little insects, and ask ourselves: why do honey bees matter so much for our planet?
Bees increase food diversity, quantity and quality
Honey bees are the world’s first pollinating species. They collect and deliver pollen from one plant to another (or within the same plant), and in doing so, fertilise crops. This vital process allows many vegetal species to produce their fruits, vegetables, nuts, leaves, seeds.
Zucchinis, cucumbers, apples, oranges, almonds, mustard seeds… all owe their existence to pollination. What’s more, a plant well enough fertilised will provide better, larger fruits.
Just imagine the impact on our food regiments! Actually, it is estimated that a third of the food we eat depends directly on bees’ pollination.
Bees enable biodiversity
Honey bees’ activity is vital for many wildlife habitats and environments. Although it might be frequently disregarded, bee’s pollination provides nutrition and shelter for a lot of animal species, whose survival sometimes entirely depends on it. They fertilise wild blooms, support the growth of trees, flowers and plants, allow forests to spread, contributing to form and maintain the complex intricate ecosystem of the planet. Along these lines, honey bees are definitively advantageous to nature, crucial actors in biodiversity.
Bees are bio-indicators of environmental pollution
As they need a favourable, non-toxic environment to be happy, honey bees can be considered a very useful monitoring factor of noxious environments and there negatives influences. Indeed, since the 1960’s, scientific study of bee hives has been increasingly employed to develop indicators for environmental pollution. Bees’ high mortality rates have been associated with the presence of toxic molecules in the air, while the analysis of beeswax and honey provides valuable information on the existence of dangerous herbicides, fungicides or heavy metals.
Bees have a major impact on our economy
Pollination by honey bees is worth billions to the global economy. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, honey bees are used to pollinate over 100 commercially grown agricultural crops in North America. The impact on the world’s food supply is major, as many crops depend on honey bees colonies for pollination. For instance, almond production, an industry worth 11 billion US dollars in California, almost entirely relies on cross pollination. A mutually beneficial system, when you consider that pollinated commercial products enhances the health and development of beekeeping on the planet.
So many reasons to protect bees, and fight for their preservation…!
Author: Ana Garcia-Larrea – 0ctober 2018