Bees play a crucial role in pollinating agricultural crops, home gardens, orchards and wildlife habitat in the modern day society. They are also the major type of pollinator in ecosystem. Bees either focus on gathering nectar or on gathering pollen depending on demand. Almonds, apples, avocados, blueberries, cantaloupes, cherries, cranberries, cucumbers, sunflowers, watermelon and many other crops all rely solely on honey bees for pollination. It is estimated that one third of the human food supply depends on insect pollination, most of which is accomplished by bees.

Factors that cause the loss of pollinators include pesticide misuse, rapid transfer of pests and diseases to new areas, urban/suburban development, changing crop patterns, clear-cut logging (particularly when mixed forests are replaced by monoculture pine), clearing wild areas, loss of nectar corridors for migratory pollinators, and human paranoia of stinging insects (the killer bee hype).

Cross Pollination is the process of applying pollen from one flower to the pistils of another flower. As the bee flies from flowers on one tree to those on another in the orchard, pollen sticks to its body hairs. The bee rubs off the pollen onto the stigma and transfers additional pollen from the anthers as it visits the flowers. A honey bee may visit 5,000 flowers a day. Awesome!

Do you realize the importance of bees?

Bees pollinate 1/3 of what we eat in our daily lives. It doesn’t take a scientist to calculate what will happen when they are not around any longer!