Why are honey bees so important? Are they simply honey providers or rather the most important portion of the food chain? You hear rumblings about how honey bee populations are declining yet what importance is that? While Colony Collapse Disorder gets a little bit of press every now and then, so what? What makes declining honey bee populations news?
Because honey bees are very important. They are important as food, clothing and shelter primarily because they supply our food. Fresh water ranks up there with honey bees. In a global sense, honey bees are even more important than oil.
It is that simple. Seriously, this doesn’t mean there would be no honey, this means there would be no food.
Think of the food you eat each day starting with a typical breakfast. Perhaps cereal and a cup of coffee so let’s observe these beginnings. Cereals are made of grains like oats or wheat. Coffee is made by roasting coffee beans harvested from coffee plants. Seems like these are all plants.
Plants reproduce by flowering and then getting pollinated. Once pollinated, a seed or fruit grows and these productions are our food.
Honey bees are the world’s great pollinators. Without honey bees, plants don’t get pollinated. If plants don’t get pollinated, as a result they do not produce the food we eat.
Someone argued once that we should rely more on meat instead of plants for food. Really? In retrospect, what do you think we feed the animals who become our meat? Ever heard of grass fed beef? Grain-fed chicken? If there are no plants to eat, it appears there will be no meat for livestock to eat and therefore no meat for humans to consume.
Again, if there are no honey bees, there is no food. No strawberries, no bread, no ice cream and no Big Macs. It’s becoming clearer why honey bees are so important.
What is happening to these vital creatures? Plain and simple – toxic, synthetic pesticides. Granted, there are varroa mites that are harming the colonies. But in the grand scheme, the colonies are vulnerable to mites because they are weakened.
Europe has banned numerous pesticides that the United States ironically dumps on crops every day. And ironically, the hives near these fields are failing.
It is so bad that farmers are now hiring bee keepers to transport hives to their fields. They are renting out pollination services! They have to because years of pesticides have eliminated the bees.
Nature works in perfect harmony. There are checks and balances in place to make sure things don’t get out of whack. But if you have Man and governments pumping huge amounts of poisons into the environment, what happens? Something gets broken. The honey bees are broken and getting worse every day.
We must all act for the honey bees. Use your buying power to shift the market and buy organic produce. Never use synthetic pesticides! Use Greenbug if you have pests as Greenbug is harmless to honey bees. Don’t be fooled by the ‘scientific data’ that says toxic pesticides are fine. This info comes from big chemical companies who care about selling pesticides.
Honey bees aren’t just important. Truthfully, they are a necessity. We need our bees so let’s get the buzz going!