The Secret Life Of Bees; Why This Humble Insect Is Crucial To How We Live
Many might not know it, but bees are one of the hardest working creatures to ever roam the earth. It’s very easy to dismiss the role that these insects play because of their size, and because they are often portrayed in stories and media as mere stingers. However, there’s so much more about bees that needs to be brought out into the world. In fact, our lives depend on them.
According to research, about $19 billion worth of agricultural products made in the US in 2010 has something to do with honeybees and similar pollinators. Bees can be credited for pollinating about a sixth of all flowering species around the world and about 400 different types of plants. In fact, the combined effort of other pollinating creatures like hummingbirds, moths, butterflies, ants, bats and beetles contribute approximately $10 billion in the same year. That said, it is safe to say that our food supply is heavily reliant on the survival of bees.
According to Lee S. Rosen, CEO and chairman of Miami-based Healthy Bees LLC, the population of bees worldwide has declined sharply. This is mostly due to changes in the climate, parasites, pollution and other stressors that either directly kill them off or hamper their ability to reproduce. There are around 25,000 species of bees in the world and some 4,000 of these thrive in the US. Thus, to say that 33% of bee colonies have been dying over the past years is cause for concern.
Why are bees important and what is their role in balancing the ecosystem?
Pollination. Simply said, this process involves the transfer of pollen from the male part of the flower to the female part so that it is able to bear fruit, seed or nut. Lee Rosen notes that bees tend to keep to a certain type of plant during this activity, thus increasing the chances of higher quality and more abundant produce when the time comes.
Some plants can pollinate themselves by relying only on the wind, but it is the hard work of bees that ensure plant reproduction happens. Without their help, the food supply would be much different. For one, agricultural products that are very reliant on bee pollination includes the likes of asparagus, broccoli, blueberries, almonds, apples and pumpkins. If bees cease to exist, then we can all say goodbye to these fruit and veggie favorites. Of course, don’t forget the honey.
In addition to ensuring that we still have access to our favorite food, bees are also major contributors to making the earth look pretty. Without their work, we might not see the plethora of colorful blooms and foliage that we enjoy. While beautifying the planet might not be bees’ most economical role in the balance, it is definitely the one that is most aesthetically favorable.
Healthy Bees LLC is a company whose mission is to keep bees alive and healthy so the rest of us can continue enjoying a beautiful planet. Through the efforts of Lee Rosen and the firm’s team of scientists, the company is able to develop a solution to keep bee colony numbers from dropping. As a result, not only do we get to enjoy nature’s beauty all around, but also its flavorful and filling bounty.