Part 1 & 2 - Why Are Bees So Important?
by Carol L.
Bees are critical pollinators for many of the crop products we use every day. They are one of the most important species and have a lot of impact on both humans and animals.
Bees pollinate food crops. Because bees fertilization takes place between crops, many such as apples, cherries, citrus, berries, certain nuts such as almonds, broccoli, carrots, cucumbers - even coffee - rely heavily on bee pollination and would likely disappear without bees. It’s not likely there would be famine (grains are pollinated by wind), but nutrition would suffer as many crops disappeared and our health would certainly be compromised.
Bees pollinate wild plants. Plants are food for many animals, such as dairy cows. Without them dairy products would disappear, and milk, cheese, butter and others would disappear. Many wild animals, birds and other insects would disappear without these plants and our ecosystem as we know it today would vanish. Wild plants are major components of diversity.
Bees produce honey. Only bees can produce honey for us. It is one of the healthiest versatile and natural food available. Uses of honey for other than baking and sweetening our food and drink are honey in skin remedies, shampoo and beeswax would also disappear.
Bees help create medications. Without bee pollination, some medications such as aspirin from willow and aspen trees and morphine derived from opium poppies would be compromised. Manufacturing of many drugs and medical treatments could be affected with the loss of bees leading to shortages and eventually zero availability of certain products.
Cotton crops are supported by bee pollination. Without them there would be a decrease in their quantity and quality. This would create a decline in the availability of something that is now quite affordable. You would pay much more for anything made of cotton including t-shirts and even cotton balls!
Without our bees there would be employment loss. Beekeepers and their workers, as well as people who work in the industries directly affected such as cosmetic, textile and candle companies. Approximately 1.5 million people would lose their jobs.
Without bees, life as we know it would be severely compromised. There would be a domino effect as plants started to disappear and animal species started to disappear and struggle to find food. Herbivores would be the first affected and the animals and insects that feed on them would be next to starve, and perhaps become extinct.
For our natural food chain to survive, to ensure the global food supply and our plants natural balance, it is imperative that our bees and every living thing on our planet survive. Nearly 90% of flowering plants rely on pollinators to reproduce, providing food and shelter for animals.