What are bees and why are they important?
Bees are flying insects that are commonly known for producing honey. A single bee produces around 1-2 teaspoon of honey in its life time. Bees also play an important role in pollination (fertilizing the plant cell to produce seeds). There are around 20,000 known species of bees. Bees are found in all continents that contain insect pollinated plants except for Antarctica.
Most plants rely on bees and other insects or animals for pollination. Although no other single animal or insect species play a more important role than bees in producing fruits and vegetables.
What is pollination?
The nectar from flowers attracts insects towards them. When the bees go from one flower to another to collect nectar for their honey, the pollens from the plant get stuck to their feet or body. When these bees go to other flowers they leave the pollens from the previous plants behind. When these pollens gets transported to stigma (the female part of the plant), the pollination happens to takes place. Once the flower or plant is pollinated seeds will start growing.
But bees are disappearing. Bee deaths are a complex problem, with multiple suspected causes, such as disease, habitat loss, pesticides and climate change. The consequence of dying bees will eventually affect the food chain. Since the pollination will stop and plants will eventually die out, the human race will also not survive for long.
How can you help?
Ensure you have flowers blooming in your own gardens. Grow simple old fashioned plants that attract bees such as sunflower, lavender, clover, thyme, coriander, honeysuckle, euphorbia, wallflowers, geraniums, bee balm, Echinacea.
- Create natural habitat for bees by using organic fertilizers.
- Make homes for bees in your gardens.
- Spread awareness – talk to others about how we can help!