About Organic Farming

Why Are Bees So Important?

by Amanda Wilson

It's true one third of the food we consume and 80% of all U.S. crops rely on pollinators like butterflies, other insects, birds and bats.. but why bees? The answer is because globally there are more honey bees than any other type of bees or pollinating insects. So the honey bee is ​the​ most important pollinator. And why is pollination so important? Because most fruits, vegetables, flowers and trees must be pollinated and fertilized to produce seed or fruit. Pollination is also vital for the production of critically important agriculture crops all around this amazing planet. This includes pollinating not only crops for us humans to eat, but also crops like clover and alfalfa that feed cattle, hogs, chickens and even our domesticated furry friends. Honey bees really are paramount to every aspect of our planet.

So how do we help these bees? Well, there are many ways really, and for some it's as simple as setting up a hive outside a window or in a garden. But what about the rest of the population who appreciate what bees do but would rather not be in close contact, or who may have an allergic reaction? Or the melissophobics (the ones who scream, run and swat that are sometimes comical to watch)? Here's a safe idea: buy local honey. By doing this simple act, you're not only benefiting yourself by consuming microscopic bits of pollen (aiding in warding off seasonal allergies), antioxidants, and also immune-boosting and anti-cancer benefits, but you're also reducing ​food miles a.k.a. emissions from factories that bottle, package and transport commercial honey from state to state, and even continent to continent.

We can also help the bees by planting a bee-friendly garden. Knowing what species of plants bees can forage for pollen and nectar is important because not all flowers are created equal. We have a ​list​ of flowers bees love in our Enrich forum, or better yet, join our Sponsor a Hive program to give bees a better chance. And lastly whenever you see a bee, instead of running for cover, thank her for all her hard work and dedication to keeping our beautiful planet going.

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