5 Reasons Bees Make the World A Better Place
You’re enjoying a nice summer picnic with your friends when you hear a familiar buzzing—a bee! Your first instinct might be to swat at it or worse, try to kill it. Don’t!
Bees are important to life as we know it and if we don’t start taking care of them soon, we could be in trouble.
Beekeepers in the United States and Europe have been reporting annual hive losses of 30 percent or higher, and it’s believed one in four wild bee species in the U.S. is at risk of extinction.
GreaterGood.org’s Project Peril partners with organizations around the world to aid bee conservation efforts, address habitat loss and colony collapses, and create more educational opportunities.
Here are our top ten reasons why bees are worth saving:
Bees are responsible for many of our food supplies
From sweet delicious strawberry ice cream to warm apple pie, without bees we wouldn’t be able to savor these classic treats. Nor would we be able to enjoy hearty vegetables like broccoli or Brussel sprouts.
You could say the tastiest parts of our diet that are reliant on bees for cross-pollination. That’s because bees’ pollination provides us with food in the form of fruits, berries, nuts, leaves, and seeds.
As bees gather pollen and nectar for their survival, they pollinate important crops. For example, blueberry and cherry crops are 90-percent dependent on honey bee pollination, while almonds depend entirely on the honey bee.
Bees are contributing to medical discoveries
Bees use a tree resin called propolis to reinforce their hives’ structure. While scientists were researching the resin they found it had benefits for humans outside of “hive caulking.” This resin can fight off bacteria, viruses, and fungi in humans. In fact, studies found that propolis from a beehive could relieve cold sores, sore throat, cavities, and eczema.
Scientists also found that bee stings might save lives thanks to a toxin in bee venom called melittin, which may be able to prevent HIV. In addition, bee venom may also be able to ease arthritis pain.
Scientists still need to do more research and that means we need bees alive and well.
Bees help our economy
The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that honeybees pollinate up to 80 percent of the country’s crops. That means bees pollinate over $15 billion worth of crops every year!
Thanks in part to bees, American farmers are able to feed more people using less land, economizing their business and keeping them afloat.
A healthy beekeeping industry provides income for beekeepers through sales of goods and services, like honey, wax, and pollination services, as well as an income for suppliers of beekeeping equipment.
Bees help conserve our biodiversity
Like we mentioned bees are responsible for our favorite fruit trees, but they can also take credit for our beautiful countrysides and gardens. Bees ensure there is diversity among our trees, wildflowers, and more.
But it’s not only about the visuals of the flora they help bloom. Many of these trees are homes to countless of other species and the blooms feed many more, keeping biodiversity alive and well.
Bees can tell us a lot about our environment
The health and abundance of bees is a crucial indicator of the health of our environment as a whole.
Bee byproducts can be analyzed for pollution, which in turn tells us about the number of pollutants in the environment, the severity of pollution, and how long this has been going on.
If we don’t take care of the bees we won’t just lose tasty treats and money, we would be sacrificing a vital ‘flag-waver’ for the environment and its creatures.