Right now in the world, there are probably around 100 million honey beehives. Perhaps 2 trillion honeybees are buzzing about. But the bee population has been declining over the years at an alarming rate. Here are some reasons why we need to be concerned with the plight of the bee.
1. We Need Honeybees For Their Pollination
Most of the food grown in the world needs cross-pollinators. Food such as oranges, apples, cucumbers, and many others requires the fertilization of pollen. Honeybees fly all over the world to look for pollen. But because of climate change and pesticides, bees are having problems finding friendly plants as food sources.
Honeybees are extremely busy going from flower to flower to search for nectar. As they fly between each plant, they leave their pollen from one plant to another. This helps the plants germinate and allows them to grow healthy.
With this pollination, honeybees help produce many of the foods we eat daily. And not only humans, but many wild animals also need the nuts and berries and seeds that the bees pollinate.
And honeybees also help trees and flowers grow. These plants provide shelter and food for many other animals on this planet, large and small.
2. Honeybees Produce Honey and Honey Products
The nectar that honeybees withdraw from plants goes back to their hives. Bees then create honey from this nectar, using their saliva. And the bee is the only animal on earth that can produce honey.
So why is honey such a big deal? Honey has enormous health benefits for us all. It helps to prevent heart disease, diabetes, and stomach digestion issues. Honey also helps destroy bacteria and heal wounds.
Honey is used to create many products, such as candles, skincare preparations, bee pollen, and bee wax. Honeybees help create millions of pounds of honey annually.
3. Bees Are Important For Human Employment
There are thousands of beekeepers in the United States. Thousands more are employed to help create the products mentioned above made from honey.
Besides farmers, many people are backyard beekeepers. Beekeeping is an outstanding enterprise and hobby for some because the people who harvest bees help the environment immensely.
So What Is Happening to the Honeybees?
The biggest threat to the honeybee is pesticides. Humans use pesticides on their crops, which may protect the plants from pests and have the alternate effect of killing bees. Ironically, the spraying of pesticides hurts plants’ growth, as it causes the bees’ death.
Many pesticides have been banned throughout the world, and many have been removed from public use. But there is more to do along this line. Farmers need to be better educated not to permit these deadly insecticides.
There are more honeybees in the world than there are other types of bees, which is great for our survival. At least 1/3 of the food we eat each day, by most estimates, is due to the pollination that the honeybee provides. Pollination is also crucial for the survival of many other animals, including other insects and birds. So we must do whatever we can to help prevent the honeybee from extinction.