By: Greg Brian
Some people still fear bees, even though they shouldn’t based on the latter’s important role in nature. In recent years, the world has seen a shortage of honeybees in particular. This could become a major problem someday if the trend continues.
Honeybees are vastly important in the production of honey among other things. Take a look at how important they really are and the process they use to pollinate clover and wildflowers.
The Role of Honeybees in the Environment
Simply put, if not for honeybees pollinating surrounding flowers, those flowers would eventually cease to exist.
We need bees in the world to keep plants alive to help our food crops. While honeybees are only one kind of species that pollinates plants throughout the world, honey would not exist without those bees.
Did you know honeybees can pollinate up to 2,000 flowers per day in a local region? Yes, they truly are “busy” all the way around, but what is the process exactly?
What’s most interesting is honeybees “communicate” with one another on where the best flowers are. This way of communicating is still being understood, yet it’s how honeybees manage to gather the most possible flower nectar to take back to their nests.
The process of how they make honey is still a wonder of nature.
How Honeybees Make Honey
When a honeybee visits a flower, they suck out nectar into their proboscis. This nectar goes into the bee’s stomach where it’s eventually transferred to a house bee back in the nest.
From there, the house bees takes the nectar and pack it into the little honey cells that make up a beehive. House bees then flap their wings and dry out the honey, eventually placing beeswax over each cell.
Yes, it’s true bees consume honey themselves, which is why they store it in their hives. During the winter, they use it as a food source.
Maybe some will think we’re stealing their food supply taking honey from their hives. We still leave enough there for them since they need food to survive themselves.
In the meantime, another interesting natural process takes place involving pollen.
The Pollination Process
Have you ever wondered how the pollination process works when bees take nectar from flowers? They aren’t placing pollen directly in the flower while visiting there.
Flower pollen spreads into the air thanks to honeybees flapping their wings and general movement. Spreading pollen this way is what makes it travel to help grow more flowers and plants throughout the local area.
As you can see, without bees visiting all those flowers to gather nectar, pollen wouldn’t spread as easily, making it impossible for more flowers to grow to produce honey.
Thanks to being a chain reaction of nature, so much is at stake in making sure honeybees don’t disappear from the equation. Unfortunately, recent declines in honeybees are making it more of a concern.
How Many Honeybees Have Disappeared?
You may have heard about honeybees suddenly becoming more scarce than they used to be. Scientists say it’s due to three factors: Varroa mites that infect bees, increased pesticide use, and monoculture farming techniques.
Honeybees have been in decline for over six decades, though efforts are being made to keep them from disappearing entirely.
Consequences of them declining are obviously severe. Thankfully, bee rescuers exist throughout America to save bees that happened to relocate to random places. Through a bee rescue, a bee hive can be relocated to a place more abundant with flowers for bees to take nectar from.