On World Honey Bee Day, which is held on the third Saturday in August, we celebrate the honey bee and the beekeepers who tend their hives!
Why are bees important?
Globally, the honey bee is the world’s most important pollinator of food crops, since there are more honey bees than any other types of bee or pollinating insects. It is estimated that one third of the food that we consume each day relies on pollination!
And while other insects, birds, and bats contribute to pollination, the honey bee is the primary pollinator.
Bees are very important to keeping plants and crops alive. Without bees, humans wouldn’t have very much to eat. So if the honey bees do not have enough to eat, we won’t have enough to eat!
It was reported that about 40% of the US honey bee colonies died between October 2018 and April 2019, the highest winter loss in 13 years.
Scientists believe that this loss is occurring due to the fact that, globally, insects are losing their habitats to farming and urbanization. The use of pesticides, fertilizers and climate change is also a factor.
It may feel more natural to fret about wolves, sea turtles, and white rhinos dying off than it is to feel remorse about vanishing bugs. But the loss of insects is a dire threat; one that could trigger a catastrophic collapse of Earth’s ecosystems, according to a February 2019 study.
Here are a few additional facts about honey bees:
- Bees are the state insect of 16 US states, and honey is produced in every single day
- A queen bee can live for up to 5 years, and lay up to 2,000 eggs per day
- Worker honey bees can fly up to 20 MPH
- Bees may actually be able to recognize human faces!
Having a World Honey Bee Day brings to light how important it is to educate people about the importance of honey bees! This event also promotes the work of beekeepers hoping to make beekeeping more popular. In trying to support the honey bee population, it is vital for for us to help by planting wildflowers, orchards, and other flowering plants that can be pollinated.
Read more about other ways to help the bees by visiting TheHoneyBeeConservancy.
Written By: Ashley Florscher
This blog post was written by a member of the eVero Outreach team. The Outreach program aims to teach individuals with disabilities marketable job skills, and enable them to find gainful employment. To learn more about eVero Outreach, click here.