Bees are amazing insects. They play a crucial role in the survival of our planet through the simple act of pollination.
In short, without bees, we could all die.
A matter of grave concern, honeybee hives around the world have been collapsing due to a combination of dangerous pesticides and global warming. The bees are dying out by the billions every year, and it’s worrying more than just the beekeepers.
Ecologically-minded apiarists, leaders in agriculture, and even ordinary citizens have begun speaking out for the bees, and the world is taking notice. Most recently, the province of Quebec outlawed honeybee-harming pesticides in an effort to preserve its native bee population.
Quebec joins Ontario and Montreal in banning neonicotinoides, along with other bee-harming poisons like chlorpyrifos and atrazine, which the CBC reports has been banned in Europe for over 10 years.
Bees are creating a big buzz all around the world. They’re crucial to our survival, not to mention incredibly interesting insects, and here are several reasons why:
10. What do we owe to bees?
Honeybees pollinate a massive amount of the fruits and vegetable bearing crops in North America. According to the Utah County Beekeepers Association, they’re responsible for at least 80 percent of all the fruit, vegetable, and seed crops in the United States.
That adds up to $15 billion a year in U.S. agricultural crops.
“1 out of every 3 or 4 bites of food you eat is thanks to bees,” Honey Love maintains.
9. How do they know where to go?
You may not understand bespeak, but their language is one of the most expressive and impressive in the Animal Kingdom.
Along with communicating through pheromones, bees returning from a particularly fruitful excursion will perform a special dance that illustrates to other workers where a food source may be and how to reach it.
“It is most often used when an experienced forager returns to her colony with a load of food, either nectar or pollen,” the NC State Extension reports. “If the quality of the food is sufficiently high, she will often perform a ‘dance’ on the surface of the wax comb to recruit new foragers to the resource.”
Learn more about bee dancing the video below!
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Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.