BEElieve it or not, our world needs the bees. What’s the buzz about that?
Why are bees important?
The impact of bees
Bees may be small, but their importance for human life and biodiversity is massive.
There is no doubting the importance of bees to our food supply. Without them, our gardens would be bare and our plates empty. But we should also remember the other reasons bees are important to the environment.
Even your own garden serves as a home for hundreds of tiny creatures, from birds and squirrels to thousands of tiny insects. If bees disappeared, the animals that depend on these plants for survival would vanish as well.
Bees themselves are also a part of the food chain. At least 24 species of bird, including the blackbird, ruby-throated hummingbird, and starling, prey on bees. Many spiders and insects eat bees as well.
Wild Plant Growth
Many species of wild plants depend on insect pollinators as well. Bees are responsible for the production of many seeds, nuts, berries, and fruit, which serve as a vital food source for wild animals.
Bees earn their reputation as busy workers by pollinating billions of plants each year. In fact, pollinators like bees play a key role in one out of every three bites of food we eat. Many plants we rely on for food would die off.
Bees’ significance goes way back in time
A bee does not really produce honey from its body. It merely collects the nectar from blossoms and stores it in the honey comb. Honeybee has two stomachs. One is its personal stomach where it digests its own food. The other is really a honey sac.
How much do you know about bees?
How many different species of bees are in the UK?
There are at least 250 in the UK. The majority of these are solitary bees, as well as over 24 species of bumblebee and 1 honey bee.
Which of these foods is not pollinated by bees?
Rice, like wheat and other grains, is wind pollinated. We would eat rice, pasta and porridge in a world without bees, but the quality and quantity of our food choices would be very dull.
Bees pollinate what percentage of the world’s main crops?
Bees pollinate 75% of the 100 most globally-traded crops.
How many of the UK’s bee species make honey?
Only honey bees make honey, but all bees are important and help pollinate
When bees visit plants what are they after?
Bees visit plants for pollen and nectar. Nectar is carbohydrate and pollen is protein. They may also drink water from some plants.
How can I most help bees?
We can all be ‘beekeepers’ just by growing the right plants, shrubs, trees and vegetables for all types of bee – honey, bumble and solitary. Avoid the use of garden and household pesticides and herbicides.