Honeybees are flying insects and close relatives of wasps and ants. They are found on every continent on earth, except for Antarctica. Honeybees are social insects that live in colonies. The hive population consists of a single queen, a few hundred drones, and thousands of worker bees.
Yellow black jacketed honeybees whose existence may determine the future of human survival. The insects pollinate nearly all the fruit vegetables and nuts we consume some experts estimate one out of every three bites of food we eat depend on the work of honeybees but the future of the insects is now in peril with widespread reports of bee colony collapses in the last decade and a half the nation’s beekeepers have reported staggering declines in their bee populations due to pesticides parasites and loss of habitat scientists warm. Climate change is also threatening the insect’s survival noting that bees could die off at faster rates as the earth warms.
The reason changes in agriculture, wildflower meadows have been ploughed up, hedges have been ripped out to form bigger fields, pesticide use is massively increased and humans have been trading bees around the world in tiny little boxes causing the spread of disease. Bees and other pollinators are responsible for much of the food we eat, did you know that 90% of flowering plants rely to some degree on animal pollinators or that many of our favourite foods need pollinators to produce.
Top five reasons why bees are important one food it’s not all about honey bees both the wild ones and the ones we keep in hives are critical for pollinating plants that produce a huge range of food including blueberries, almonds and beans the global value of insect pollination is estimated at a hundred and fifty-three billion euros every year and while this figure includes contributions from saying butterflies and beetles most of the work is done by the bees still don’t care commercially reared bumblebees are important pollinators of tomato plants.
Numerous creatures rely on bees for their own existence including the endangered oil beetle, numerous wildflowers depend on bees for pollination take away the bees and there will be drastic consequences for both the plants and the animals that depend on them the world will become less colourful less interesting place.
Unknown Facts of Bees:
- Honey bees are fab flyers. They fly at a speed of around 25km per hour and beat their wings 200 times per second!
- Each bee has 170 odorant receptors, which means they have one serious sense of smell! They use this to communicate within the hive and to recognise different types of flowers when looking for food.
- The average worker bee lives for just five to six weeks. During this time, she’ll produce around a twelfth of a teaspoon of honey.
- The queen can live up to five years. She is busiest in the summer months when she can lay up to 2,500 eggs a day!
- Honey bees are also brilliant boogiers! To share information about the best food sources, they perform their ‘waggle dance’.
- When the worker returns to the hive, it moves in a figure of eight and waggles its body to indicate the direction of the food source. Cool, huh?
Sadly, over the past 15 years, colonies of bees have been disappearing, and the reason remains unknown. Referred to as ‘colony collapse disorder, billions of honey bees across the world are leaving their hives, never to return. In some regions, up to 90% of bees have disappeared!
So, bees provide us with food help maintain biodiversity fight crime, act as indicators of environmental change and contribute to a whole load of ecosystem services so the next time you order pizza or enjoy a blueberry muffin spare a thought for the bees.