There are plenty of reasons to love bees. For one, they are probably the most hardworking pollinators in the entre animal kingdom, making them the very reason why we continue to enjoy most of our favorite food today. However, many do not realize the huge role they play in the survival of the human race. Instead, they are often portrayed as nuisances, attackers, and pests in most Hollywood movies and even children’s cartoons.
Most of us grew up with the notion that bees are bad and dangerous when, in fact, it’s the total opposite. While it is true that a bee sting hurts really bad and a swarm attack can be potentially fatal, let’s all take a moment to understand that this is a defense mechanism. It is a response that is similar to how we naturally protect ourselves when threatened. That said, there is absolutely no truth to bees being pests. If anything, we should even be very grateful that they exist.
Here are five reasons why the existence of bees is crucial to human life.
- They are pollinators.
Majority of our agricultural food crops are dependent on pollination to survive and propagate. This why the role of the untiring worker bees is important to the production of fruits, nuts, berries, leafy vegetables, roots, and seeds. These make up about 30 percent of what humans consume.
- Bees contribute to economic growth.
According to the American Beekeeping Foundation, bees make up for $15 billion worth of agricultural products annually in the US alone. With crop production volumes high, farmers are better equipped to supply for the entire country (or even for export). Market researchers estimate a yield of around $3,250 per hectare each year from crop output. Studies also show that 2 percent of the wild bee species pollinate some 80 percent of crops around the world.
- They benefit biodiversity.
In addition to being a huge contributor to food production, bees are also major players in environment preservation and aesthetics. Their ability to pollinate hundreds of plants per day means lusher and greener countryside and gardens. As a result, they help create an ideal environment for other plants and animals to live and grow.
- Bees are an important indicator of the greater environment’s health.
Researchers say that the presence of bees in an area means that its general environment is healthy. Because their colonies are designed to survive for many years, bees give us a chance to determine the longer term effects of our surroundings to plants and wildlife.
- Trees need bees.
Many trees depend on bees and other pollinator insects to multiply. Now, one cannot downplay the role of trees to our lives. Aside from helping produce much needed oxygen, they also provide shelter and food for different types of wildlife, help stabilize landscapes and soil structures, and are basically the earth’s lungs.