You have probably heard before, that bees are important to our ecosystems, but have you ever stopped to wonder why?
Well if bees didn’t exist the planet would be a very different place, here are some numbers; bees are responsible for pollinating about one-sixth of the flowering plant species worldwide and approximately 400 different agricultural types of plants.
Bees are pollinators, which means that they gather pollen to stock their nests as food for their young ones. They gather food by visiting many different plants, when they do that pollen catches on their bodies and then passes to other plants, fertilizing them, that’s what is called pollination.
There are other animals that are also pollinators (like butterflies or birds), but there are way more honey bees than any other type of pollinating insect. It is estimated that one-third of the food that we consume each day relies on pollination from bees.
And that also translates into the economy, as an example, it is estimated that the value of pollination by bees is around $16 billion in the US alone, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service.
Unfortunately, the worldwide bee colony is collapsing due to a variety of factors, like pesticides, drought, habitat destruction, nutrition deficit, air pollution, global warming, and more. This has been an issue that has been acknowledged by institutions like the EU who have been studying the bees and taking measures into account (EU efforts for bee health) to help mitigate the decrease of the bee population.
But more has to be done, check out Greenpeace’s actions to save the bees.