What do Bees do? Well they give us honey don’t they. There is nothing like honey straight from a been hive and untainted by modern food giants. Real honey also has proven medicinal effects so not only does it taste great, but its also good for us. Bees are awesome are they not?
Yes Bees are awesome.. but they they are actually more awesome than you think. Bees are a very important aspect of our food production cycle. They may even be considered a keystone species, a species so important that without it systems would collapse, and in this case the food systems.
So how can something so small play such an important role in our existence and the existence of so much of our natural food?
As Bees search for nectar the transfer pollen from on plant to another, fertilising the plant and allow for reproduction.Bees pollinate and fertilise many of our favourite fruits and vegetables. Without bees we wouldn’t have watermelon, coconut, strawberries, figs, kiwi fruits, celery, broccoli, onions, cashews, rock melon (cantaloupe), lemon, limes, lychee ( a world without Lychee martinis is not even worth thinking about), apples, mangoes, passionfruit, avocado, tomato….. the list goes on and on. Honestly all my favourite foods are in some way here because of bees in some form or another. Bees also play an integral part to native flora that are integral to local ecosystems. Bees are the superstars of the natural world.
Whats happening to our bees?
Bees are suffering a bit of a crisis at the moment. The numbers are decreasing which is placing the our food productions systems on edge. Bees are dying off for many reasons.
Colony Collapse disorder, where whole colonies of bees are dying is the major concern, and have been attributed to:
The use of pesticides in crops. Pesticides are in effect poison chemicals sprayed on our crops to deter natural insects from eating them. There are not only contaminating our food, but are killing bees.
Climate change. Climate change is leading to many plants to bloom earlier or later than usual, which essentially messes with the bees system and denies them of the nectar and food they require in order to survive
Habitat loss. Monoculture and removal of native flora can also lead to a lack of food diversity for the bees which reduces their immune system functioning.
Parasites. The Verroa mite has played havoc with Bee colonies killing off bees and infecting the bee populations of whole countries.
Although the problems impacting the bees may not be attributed solely to one of the above, all of these combined are landing unstoppable combinations placing the bees existence at risk.
Buy organic produce. The more we support organic produce the better the lives or bees will be.
Don’t use insecticides in our garden. Use natural methods of deterring pests.
Plant a variety of flowers that bloom at different stages throughout the year to provide food for the bees
Plant wildflowers in your garden
Dont disturb bee hives!!