Many of us have heard about the butterfly effect, but only a few people know about the bee effect. Well no, it’s not a theory about space and time. We actually just made it up. However, the effects of dying bees is no joke, and we’re in for a devastating future if we don’t protect them.
Why are bees so important? To give you a glimpse on how essential bees are to the environment, we’ve made a list of the reasons that explain why honey bees are important to humans. And even though there are just four reasons here, these should be enough to convince you to use relocation instead of insecticides.
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Our everyday lives are actually dependent on bees pollinating many kinds of plants.
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They’re a pillar to the human economy
Pollination isn’t just about making flowers bloom. This process runs a substantial share in the world economy. Right now, all the plants that bees pollinate make up value of approximately 265 billion dollars a year.
Flowers are pollinated when the pollen of the male part, called the anther, is transferred to the stigma, the female part. With this, the flowers develop into fruits or nuts and eventually turn into whole plants themselves.
What’s tricky about pollination is that it relies heavily on some insects to make it happen. And wouldn’t you know it? Bees do most of the pollinating around the world. Without them, we could stand to lose more than just ornamental plants and bouquets.
One of every three bites of our food is the result of a bee’s pollination. With no bees to pollinate, broccoli, pumpkins, watermelons, apples and so much more fruits and vegetables would grow scarce. Grocery items that contain plant-based ingredients like cooking oil, spices, juices and condiments might also go away. Even the coffee and chocolate that we love so much could potentially disappear!
Not only that, animals like livestock that feed on pollinated plants could also decrease in numbers. Beef, for example, could suffer major loses since bees pollinate alfalfa fields, plants that are used for cattle hay.
In addition, bees aren’t just responsible for edible things. They’re also a pillar for beauty products like shampoos, makeup and moisturizers and convenient things like car wax and detergents. The clothes that wear are made from cotton. And yes, it’s a kind of plant that depends heavily on bees.
These are only some of the things that we could stand to lose when bees are not around. That’s why they play a crucial role in our lives.
They produce honey
Collecting honey through beekeeping has been around since the ancient times, with the earliest traces dating back to 7000 BCE.
We know that all bees are important because of the things we can get from pollination. But honey bees, in particular, are unlike the others. They’re special because of all the honey they make.
Honey is made when bees ingest nectar and regurgitate it back. The ones assigned to make it repeatedly pass the ingested nectar back and forth, further ingesting and regurgitating it until it’s ready to be stored. The partially completed honey is then kept in a cell to ferment. The bees would also fan their wings to dry it out and to let the excess water from it evaporate, stopping it from fermenting any further.
The world has an insatiable thirst for this sweet amber liquid. In 2014, 1.5 million tons of honey were produced worldwide. In the US, about 450 million pounds of it are eaten yearly, making it a complete staple in the kitchen.
Also, honey isn’t just used for eating. It’s a got a huge following of health and beauty enthusiasts who swear by its beneficial effects on the human body. Apparently, honey has antibacterial and healing properties that can help with minor health issues like acne and sore throats. Many companies even started using this viscous liquid in their food and beauty products.
They provide beeswax
Honey bees also produce another product that’s widely used by humans – beeswax.
Bees are the only insects that can produce their own wax. Beeswax or cera alba is a natural substance that’s made from the eight wax-producing glands located in the bee’s abdomen. They secrete it to build their hives, creating the signature hexagonal honeycombs that are used to store honey, eggs, pupae and larvae.
Even though beeswax is not as popular as honey, it has been used by humans since ancient times. It’s included in food, medicine and cosmetics production. And it’s even used in waterproofing, polishing and cleaning.
India makes 23,000 tons of beeswax yearly, which makes it the leading country to capitalize on this product. Ethiopia comes in second with 5,000 tons. Although the numbers are small when they’re matched against honey, they do keep growing. Beeswax has reached a higher demand compared to what it was years ago.
They beautify places
The last reason that tells why honey bees are essential is the simple act of beautification. Bees have an innate ability to make even vacant plots of land look astonishingly beautiful.
Through pollination, honey bees can make colorful living art out of dull and gray places. They build vibrant landscapes and images that inspire many of us to make masterpieces of our own.
To put it simply, the reason why honey bees are important to humans is because they make the world a better place. And not just honey bees, all bees do this. They contribute so much to our daily lives. That’s why we have to strive hard and find more ways to coexist with them.