Why Are Bees Considered An Important Species?

Image of European honey bee

As pollinators, makers of honey, and therapeutic items, bees are important culturally and environmentally. Pollen migration between plants is required for fertilization and reproduction. Bees are the number one pollinator of crops in the United States.

Both farmed and wild bees regulate vegetative growth and quality; when they thrive, so do crops. When it comes to food security, bees are crucial. However, bees’ health and numbers are declining worldwide, and it is critical to conserving them to ensure human well-being.

The Economical Importance Of Honey Bees

Picture of honey bees extracting honey from hivePollinators are essential for preserving fruits, nuts, and vegetables in our diets and contribute significantly to the US economy. Pollinators such as honey bees and bumblebees have disappeared from the ecosystem over the last few decades. The issue is serious, and it presents a substantial challenge that must be handled to guarantee the long-term viability of our food production systems, minimize extra-economic consequences on the agricultural sector, and protect environmental health.

Pollinators make a total contribution of more than 24 billion dollars to the US economy, with honey bees accounting for more than 15 billion dollars due to their critical role in keeping fruits, nuts, and vegetables in our diets.
Pollinators native to the United States, such as bumblebees and alfalfa leafcutter bees, contribute significantly to the domestic economy. In 2009, the value of crop benefits from native insect pollination in the United States exceeded $9 billion. 1Go To Source obamawhitehouse.archives.gov -“Fact Sheet: The Economic Challenge Posed by Declining Pollinator Populations”

Pollination Of Wild Plants

For both the bees and wildflowers, pollen is essential for life reproduction. Pollen is a crucial element of the bee’s food, and nectar is created when water is mixed with the sugar in flowers. Nectar is also necessary for the bee’s life. Nectar is a food supply that gives bees the energy they need to fly from one plant to another for cross-pollination.

The female plants of flowers rely on bees to cross-pollinate them. When bees graze on pollen, their pollen-collecting hairs gather up surplus pollen, which is subsequently released when they land. Pollen serves as the flower’s seed, which is essential for the survival of wildflowers.

Bees pollinate a wide range of foods consumed by wildlife and humans, in addition to floral species. Apples, blueberries, melons, cranberries, and, of course, honey are all pollinated by honey bees alone. This means that, as the bee population diminishes, this produce will become scarce and finally disappear.

Pollination Of Crops

Image of bumblebee worker extracting nectarOver 75 percent of North American plant species rely on insects for pollination, most commonly bees, to transport pollen from one plant to another.

About 20% to 45% of native bees are pollen specialists, meaning they exclusively use pollen from a single plant species (or genus). The bee will leave if that plant is removed. The plant will not reproduce if the bees are removed. Some native bees are experts at pollinating the plants we eat, such as squashes, pumpkins, gourds, and the annual sunflower.

Native bees are the major pollinators in almost all crops, or they greatly complement honey bee activity. Even crops that don’t require pollination, such as cotton, soybeans, and peppers, yield more when bees visit. 2Go To Source usgs.gov -“What is the role of native bees in the United States?”

Production Of Honey

Although honey is frequently the first thing that comes to mind, bees also produce or are involved in the production of a variety of other products. Honey-based items (such as confectionery), beeswax, pollen (as a supplement), candles, propolis (or bee glue, used in cosmetics), and more bees for sale to third parties are all examples of these.

Even though crop pollination is by far the most significant and profitable of bee services, honey is the most well-known and profitable of the honey bee’s direct outputs. Honey is produced in the United States in large quantities each year, bringing in billions of dollars in revenue. Many people find natural honey to be sweet, pleasant smelling, and delightful. It can also be flavored with nuts and spices, both chemically and naturally.

Honey Bees Create Thousands Of Jobs

Image of bee keeper relocating honey beesFarmers, notably smaller farmers, and family-owned farms in developing communities, rely on pollinated plants for a significant portion of their income. Millions of people rely on honey bees for work and income. According to estimates from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, the yearly worldwide production of food directly dependent on pollination is worth between $235 and $577 billion.

The yearly global output of food that is directly dependent on pollination is worth between $235 and $577 billion, according to the same 2016 study. Agricultural plants that require pollination are also a significant source of employment and revenue for farmers, particularly small farmers and family farms in developing areas.

Why Should You Avoid Killing Bees?

Is there any doubt about why we should not kill bees? As stated above, humanity wouldn’t be able to produce crops and create specific honey products if bees didn’t exist. Also, many farmers and beekeepers would be out of a job if too many bees were killed. If you have a bee infestation on your property, please contact a humane bee relocation company to remove the bees safely.

Are you having trouble finding a local beekeeper that you can trust? The Honey Bee Rescuers are here to help. We only connect homeowners with pre-qualified humane bee control companies. Rather than killing the nuisance bees, contact the Honey Bee Rescuers!

 

 

Sources:

  1. The White House Office of the Press Secretary. “Fact Sheet: The Economic Challenge Posed by Declining Pollinator.” Whitehouse.Gov, 20 July 2015, obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2014/06/20/fact-sheet-economic-challenge-posed-declining-pollinator-populations.
  2. “What Is the Role of Native Bees in the United States?” Usgs.Gov, U.S. Department of the Interior, www.usgs.gov/faqs/what-role-native-bees-united-states?qt-news_science_products=0#qt-news_science_products. Accessed 29 July 2021.
  3. “Honeybee”. Online Etymology Dictionary, Douglas Harper. 2019. Accessed 29 July 2021
  4. “Honey Bees”. Encyclopedia of Life. Accessed 29 July 2021
  5. Crane E (1990). “Honey from honeybees and other insects”. Ethology Ecology & Evolution. 3 (sup1): 100–105. doi:10.1080/03949370.1991.10721919.
  6. Harbo JR, Rinderer TE (1980). “Breeding and Genetics of Honey Bees”. Beesource Beekeeping. Accessed 29 July 2021.
  7. “THE HONEY BEE”. www.islamicity.com. Accessed 29 July 2021