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10 Reasons that Makes Bees Important

Except for the buzzing sound they won't stop making, bees are actually awesome. Don't believe it? Here are ten reasons that demonstrate how bees can be useful to the environment, ecological system, and nature. While some of these reasons are commonly known, the others will surprise you to the core.

The Importance of Bees

  1. Pollination

Bees offer great pollination services and help in the provision of food in the form of seeds, roots, berries, edible leaves, and nuts. Without bees and their cross-pollination services, we could have had missed the most important part of our diets. And it's not just about the raw fruits that come from the trees, but also all of the products that are made therefrom. The apple pies, strawberry ice creams, mango smoothies, blueberry muffins, and banana bread. In addition to cross-pollination among fruiting trees, this also applies to vegetables like tomatoes, beans, etc. Bees do help the transportation of seeds but not relentlessly – they enable a portion to be reserved for a crop the following year. This particularly helps with leaf crops like that of Brassicas, Kale. Without bees and their full-time pollination services, we may have to employ several artificial and difficult pollination methods.
  1. Importance of Bees in the whole food chain

Bees also transport the foods to other animals. Many mammals and birds primarily feed on nuts, fruits, and berries that are pollinated by bees. Some domesticated animals also need this pollination service. For example, cows feed on Alfalfa which is pollinated by the leafcutter bee (and rarely by other bees too). Bees, thus play a very vital role in making up the whole food chain.
  1. Importance of bees to the economy

The heading must have got you like, what? Living in a world of numbers, we are always looking to assign a number or a monetary value to anything valuable. Considering the huge impact of bees on the food industry, attempts were made to realize the monetary value of the contribution of bees to the food and crop industry. Although this was quite difficult and subjective, in 2010, the estimate landed near $40 billion per annum. The American Beekeeping Federation then put forth the report that honey bees bring in a chunk of $15bn alone to the US Crop Production. For crops like almonds, the role of bees is indispensable. With all of that said, the most difficult part is the estimation of the contribution of wild bees to pollination. An estimate suggests this contribution to be somewhere around $3,251 per hectare per crop production per annum. A study suggested that 2% of the most common types of wild bee species fertilize up to 80% of bee-pollinated crops around the world. Honestly, there is so much to consider and account for when it comes to the contribution of bees that we can only end up saying, 'Bees are great'. Besides pollination, the beekeeping industry offers a steady income for beekeepers and their families by selling bee-related products such as honey, and wax. It also business opportunities for suppliers dealing in beekeeping equipment.
  1. Bees benefit biodiversity

Apart from pollination and its contribution to the crop industry, bees also contribute to the enrichment of landscapes, gardens, and overall, countryside. Bees are generally beneficial to the environment as they pollinate wildflowers and shrubs, helping plant biodiversity and the beauty of gardens.
  1. Bees help trees

Bees not only help the pollination of flowers and food crops but also trees. Trees direly need bees for an abundant crop and efficient growth. Examples of such trees include rowans, whitebeam, wayfaring tree, holly, hazel, alder, pussy willow, hawthorn, majestic native limes, and also some fruit trees such as pear, plum, cherry, quince, and apple trees. In turn, bees are also dependent on trees as they support wildlife, stabilize the soil structure, and are the lungs of the earth.
  1. Bees save the lives of elephants

Some practical and undeniable ways how bees are saving communities include helping communities in developing countries. For example, in Africa, bees are saving elephants and people by mitigating the human-elephant conflict. More surprisingly, it has been found that bees are also blessed with the ability to sniff out landmines and explosives set on the grounds. Practically speaking, this can help save several lives. Interestingly, wasps can also be trained similarly to bees.
  1. Bees support sustenance farmers

In developing countries, bees are of great help to communities and people. Bees for Development, an internationally recognized organization, helps people earn a steady income and supports pollination of food crops through beekeeping.
  1. The canary in the coal mine

Some people are of the view that bees are not much important in terms of pollination as the same may be done by other pollinators. This is not absolutely true; from a wider perspective, bees are essentially important for the health of the environment as a whole. The factors affecting bees will also affect other pollinators and will thus have severe consequences for the environment. Honey bees help you assess the environmental health in the longer term as they produce colonies to survive for years to come. A wide group of people, namely the beekeepers look out for and observe the progress of honey bees. Although they do not trace it for wild honey bee colonies but can still be helpful. By-products such as wax, pollen, and honey that come from bees can also be studied to have an idea of the pollution. These products are scientifically tested and studied over a period with several scientific controls employed.
  1. Bees teach us a lot

Bees are not only good pollinators, but they also teach us a lot. For example, the outstanding revelation to use hexagons in engineering and scientific projects was inspired by bees. Many of our poems and philosophical ideas are also based on lessons learned from bees. The studies of honey bees have led to huge scientific research. Honey bees are one of the most vastly studied creatures after humans.
  1. Bees make an important part of the earth's surprising biodiversity!

Bees are important to us as their existence has so much to give to the Earth and humans. All creatures existing on Earth play an important role in its biodiversity in one way or the other. As bees are relatively important for our survival as well, we must protect them against extinction and related hazards. People around the world are doing the bit the promote bees, especially at a personal level. At a community level, however, councils can also guide better. Farmers have also started to take the issue of biodiversity very seriously by employing pollinator margins around the crop field perimeters. With these advanced efforts, we are also reducing agrochemical usage. Farmers have also realized how important bee survival can be for soil fertility and crop sustainability. Also, the flower growing industry has started taking notes of the same. In short, more people are gaining awareness of the importance of bees for us and for the earth, which is a positive step towards the sustainability of bees.
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