Who doesn’t like honey? Most of us enjoy the sweet sticky goodness and medicinal properties that honey provides. We would not have honey to enjoy if it wasn’t for the humble bee. The most popular bees know to us are the honeybee and the bumble bee. In addition to the most loved honeybee and bumblebee, there are about 4,000 species of native or wild bees in the continental U.S. These include carpenter bees, sweat bees, and leafcutter bees just to name a few.
How bees do their job:
Bees pollinate the plants around us. Pollination occurs when pollen is transferred from one flower to another flower of the same species. When pollen gets transferred to the second flower, it becomes fertilized. When a flower is fertilized, fruit and seed production can take place. Bees receive protein from flower pollen, and carbohydrates from the flower's nectar to make honey.
Proper pollination results in large, healthy fruits. Poor pollination results in deformed fruits that often drop off before ripening.
Can we do this job ourselves? Yes. However, bees, birds, bats and other insects can do a far better job of pollination than we can.
Honeybees and wild bees are the most important pollinators. There are approximately 100 different crop species that provide 90% of our global food supply. Of the 100 species, 71 are bee-pollinated. Bees are not just important, we can’t live without them.
Did you know? Approximately, 1 out of every 3 bites of your food depend on bees?