No apple pies. No pizza. And no more delicious coffee.
This is our world without the humble Honey Bee.
The ordinary person may take Honey Bees for granted. That is until they imagine what their lives would look like if we didn’t have these fuzzy critters around. In reality, Honey Bees are some of the most important creatures in the animal kingdom, especially when it comes to the future and survival of humans and other species.
In this blog, Covenant Wildlife Removal shares why it’s important for people to care for Honey Bees and what you can do, right now, to help Honey Bees help us.
The Importance of Honey Bees
Technology, architecture, literature, and medical science are just a few fields of study Honey Bees have contributed to. But beyond the endless knowledge we can gain from studying Honey Bees, they play a major role in human lives worldwide.
Honey Bees are one of over 200,000 pollinating species. Many of these species are insects, including thousands of different types of bees. If you aren’t familiar with the process, pollination spreads pollen from one flower to another to fertilize the plant. In other words, pollination is a plant’s method of reproduction.
Unlike other bees, the Honey Bee is considered a general pollinator. All this means is they can pollinate many types of plants rather than one specific kind. And because of this unique characteristic, they are the most widely used insect to pollinate our locally grown and commercial crops.
Honey Bees pollinate over 100 different crops in North America, including:
Are you familiar with the phrase “busy bee”? Well, Bees are extremely hard workers. So much so that a single Honey Bee may visit about 2,000 flowers each day.
Why Should You Care for Honey Bees?
Climate change and food scarcity are hot topics. And Honey Bees can help. Through the study of Honey Bees, we have found that they do much more than produce sweet honey and spread pollen around. Changes in a colony’s behavior can indicate problems and predict the future of fragile ecosystems.
Unfortunately, Honey Bee populations have been struggling to survive for many years. And although awareness over the last decade has increased the number of beehives all around the globe, Honey Bees continue to face obstacles, many of which humans directly and indirectly cause.
Honey Bees and The Environment
If you care about the health of our planet and all the precious creatures dwelling here, you should care for Honey Bees. You’ll learn that these buzzing bugs have much to say about the health of their ecosystem and the health of our natural world.
Scientists can determine the overall survival of a particular environment by studying Honey Bees. And when researchers take a step back and look at the natural world as a whole, Honey Bees can indicate even bigger disturbances, like climate change.
A Honey Bee colony will quickly react to any changes in its environment. Therefore scientists keep a close eye on Honey Beehives to get an inside view of what is really happening with the climate on our planet.
Humans and Honey Bees
Learning to care for Honey Bees is essential to the future of human lives. They help produce many fruits, nuts, berries, and vegetables that we enjoy each day. In fact, every three bites you take, you are indulging in the hard work of a Honey Bee.
Honey Bees contribute to our world more than you may realize. Check out these statistics for proof of their incredible abilities:
- Each year $15 billion is added to the US economy by Honey Bees.
- Bees and other pollinators help produce 90% of the world’s food.
- Just in the last 50 years, the number of crops that depend on pollinators has tripled.
The Decline of Honey Bee Populations
Honey Bees are in trouble. And that means we are, too. For years and years, their populations have been declining due to several factors. And although climate change and pollution play a part, what really affects Honey Bee populations are diseases and the use of pesticides and herbicides.
Colony Collapse Disorder:
Globally, Honey Bees are experiencing a devastating phenomenon called Colony Collapse Disorder. Beekeepers are losing entire colonies to this mysterious disease. The loss of one or more hives for a beekeeper can cost them a considerable portion of their income. And even more alarming, the failure of bee colonies in the wild can threaten otherwise healthy habitats. The cause of Colony Collapse Disorder has yet to be determined, and with the increase of Honey Bee shipments, it’s proving impossible to control.
Also affecting Honey Bee populations is the use of herbicides and pesticides. They are designed to kill off unwanted pests when they bite into the chemically treated plant. The use of these chemicals has become the norm in commercial agriculture.
Unfortunately, the Honey Bees who pollinate these plants are being affected too. When chemicals are used in higher concentrations, they can make their way into the plant’s pollen, exposing the Honey Bees to lethal poison. A milder reaction to the chemical will cause a bee to become confused and unable to find its way back to the hive. But many Honey Bees are dying when exposed to highly concentrated levels.
What Can You Do to Care for Honey Bees?
The relationship we have with Honey Bees is an ancient one. People in Greece, Rome, and other ancient civilizations managed beehives well before we truly understood their role in our world.
So, why now? Why are scientists and researchers pushing for global care for Honey Bees when we’ve been by their side since the invention of the wheel?
Because Honey Bees are becoming more and more essential to human lives, and with that comes a natural responsibility to care for Honey Bees. The good news is you don’t need to be a beekeeper or scientist to help save the bees. Read on to discover four easy ways you can repay the honey Bees and help our planet.
1 | Plant a Honey Bee Garden
The number one way to welcome back the Honey Bees is to plant flowers in your very own backyard. And this just so happens to be the easiest way too. Grab your gardening gloves, soil, and seeds, and get to planting!
Creating your own bee garden will provide a safe place for local Honey Bees to sip nectar and spread around precious pollen. Be sure to keep your garden chemical-free for your friendly new neighbors.
What You Need to Start a Honey Bee Garden:
- Include plants and flowers that are native to your area. Honey Bees especially love clover and dandelions.
- Provide your Honey Bees with a shallow dish of fresh water. They get thirsty, too!
- Place small rocks and twigs in or around your water source to give the bees a place to land and rest from their exhausting work.
2 | Buy Local and Organic
Choose sustainably farmed produce and other foods to support the farmers making a difference in agriculture. Commercial farms use chemicals and monoculture methods that are harmful to bees and other pollinators. Care for Honey Bees in your area and worldwide by shopping at your local farmer’s market or buying organic products at the store.
3 | Support Beekeepers
If you really want to make a difference in the lives of Honey Bees, get to know your local beekeepers. They’ll know exactly what you can do to help Honey Bees and other pollinators further. Gather your family and friends to fight the cause in numbers and visit a bee farm. What’s even better is many bee farms will have programs to teach children how to care for Honey Bees.
Furthermore, you can buy unprocessed, raw honey from your local farmers and beekeepers. These people are the real heroes in a bee’s world, and directly supporting them by buying their products truly makes a difference.
4 | Go Chemical-Free
Yes, pesticides and herbicides are convenient, but there are other ways to keep up with your lawn. It’s time to think differently.
By using chemicals in your yard, you are keeping bees out. When in reality, they are one of the most critical components of a lush and healthy landscape. In fact, your lawn would be quite colorless and uninteresting without pollinators.
Take it a step further and consider letting your lawn go back to its natural state. Perfectly trimmed St. Augustine grass does little for the critters dwelling there. Allow your grass to grow tall and avoid pulling weeds and other native plants. Many of the unwanted weeds in our yards are essential to Honey Bee populations.
How Does Covenant Wildlife Care for Honey Bees?
We encourage everyone to welcome honey bees to their yard. Although, there are many cases where their presence can be a bother or even a threat to you and your family. In fact, 5-7% of people experience allergic reactions when stung by a Honey Bee.
If your home or property is infested with honey bees, give the professionals at Covenant Wildlife Removal a call today. Honey bee removal is a serious business, and you should not attempt this undertaking on your own. Many people are injured when they choose not to call the experts to remove the hive safely.
Additionally, spraying the nest with store-bought chemicals can be dangerous. The abandoned honey may attract other pests like bugs and rodents.
If a colony of honey bees has taken up residence at your home, you should reach out to Covenant Wildlife at 205-805-5760. You can also reach the company by using this online contact form.