The importance of honey bees

The importance of honey bees

The importance of honey bees

 

 

Bees are the key to the survival of humanity. Of the pollinating insects, bees play the biggest role in crop pollination, without which fruits, certain vegetables and fodder crops grown for humans and animals would not be produced, thus endangering the food supply. We owe a significant portion of our food to bees, as 90% of our food plants and wild plants are grown and reproduced by pollinating bees.

Honey bee pollination apple flowers

Bees have lived on Earth for 50 million years. They are responsible for pollinating 250,000 plant species. This is 75% of the flora. The so-called entomophilic plant, which is dependent on insect pollination, provides nearly half of humanity's food supply. The quantity and quality of the crop also depends on the pollination of the bees, even in the case of fruits such as apples or sunflowers. However, if these plants disappear with the death of the bees, the insects and birds that feed on them will die, too followed by their predators. This will upset the ecosystem and eventually humanity will be threatened by famine.

 

Why honeybees are dying?

 

There are about 20,000 bee species on Earth, and most of them are endangered. Their numbers have declined significantly over the last 10-20 years. Some beekeepers and agricultural engineers say this is due to certain pesticides, but Greenpeace researchers say climate change, urbanisation, the spread of diseases and proliferation of certain parasites also play a role.

 

As cities expand, the number of fields, meadows, and gardens accessible to bees decrease, and bees they have to travel furter to find food. Bee fatigue is considered one of the many reasons behind the death of bees.

 

A few years ago, there was a worldwide bee death. In Brazil, where the largest proportion of honey bees died, the mass destruction was explained by the use of neonicotinoid and fipronil-containing insecticides. Insecticides with such active ingredients have been banned in Europe because they have severely damaged bees. However, the mass extinction of bees has also appeared on other continents. In the United States, forty percent of the colonies were destroyed in one winter. Deaths have been reported in 20 regions in Russia. According to an international study, during the winter of 2017-18, the number of honey bee colonies fell by 16% in 33 European countries as well as in Algeria, Israel and Morocco.

 

How can we help the bees?

 

The first step is to support natural, ethical farming, to visit farmers who grow plants in harmony with nature without the use of harmful insecticides. If you have your own garden, don’t use chemicals, ans plant bee-friendly flowers. With the latter, you can attract more bees into your garden and achieve a better yield average. Anyone who carries out large-scale cultivation should pay attention to when they use what pesticides.

 

 

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