Bees really are awesome! No doubt you have heard at least some ideas about why bees matter, but here is a list of seven reasons why bees are important and beneficial to our landscapes and our lives in general. Some of these reasons are well-known (but hey it doesn’t hurt to be reminded), but perhaps there will be a few in this list you had never thought of. Here are our top seven reasons to love bees.
#7 Honey… need we say more?
Think of everything that honey is used for. We use it on sandwiches and to sweeten our drinks. Honey is found in some cosmetics (like lotions, shampoos, and soaps), in certain kinds of vinegar and in desserts, just to name a few.
#6 And a bunch of other food.
Did you know that bees help put milk in your glass, cheese, and eggs in your fridge and meat on your table? Honey bees are important pollinators of alfalfa while bumblebees are one pollinator that pollinates clover, plants that are used to feed dairy and beef cows, rabbits and chickens.
#5 They pretty much feed everyone.
Bees also pollinate foods eaten by other animals and birds. Birds and mammals may rely on berries, seeds and also some fruits and nuts. It also has to be said that domesticated animals benefit from pollination too (see number seven). So, you see, bees play a vital role in the whole food chain!
#4 They are worth big bucks.
For some, to be considered valuable, a thing has to be assigned a monetary value (although for us, the natural world is to be appreciated and valued in its own right). Attempts have been made to quantify the contribution of bees to the food crop industry. In 2010, it was estimated that bees contribute $40 billion per year! Forty. Billion. Boom.
#3 Because science!
Bees are awesome because they have much to teach humans! For example, bees have inspired scientific and engineering projects such as the use of hexagons in engineering. The study of bees (especially honeybees) has generated huge amounts of scientific research and they are probably the most studied creature after humans. Who knows what bees may teach us tomorrow?
Bees are important simply because they are a species with a right to their existence, just as any other! All creatures play a role in this great web of life, and earth’s rich biodiversity sustains not only other species but also us humans.
#1 Trees need bees!
It is not only flowers and food crops that are pollinated by bees. This point is often neglected, but many (though not all) trees are pollinated by bees (and other insects). Trees, in turn, support much wildlife, help to stabilize soil structure and landscapes, and are the lungs of the earth! Horse chestnuts, rowans, hawthorne, whitebeam, wayfaring tree, hazel, holly, alder, the majestic native limes, pussy willow and fruit trees: cherry, pear, plum, quince, and apple are just some examples. Bees of course, also benefit from trees.
They might seem like small, insignificant insects, but bumble bees, honey bees, and other bee species are incredibly important for life on the planet. If our bees disappeared, it wouldn’t be long before we felt the impact through loss of biodiversity and food. To properly landscape your yard for the maximum attraction of bees, contact us today. We can assist you in creating the perfect bee friendly and human-friendly backyard landscape.