Bees along are some of the oldest species on earth. A 100-million-year-old fossil was recently found. Bees are essential for the world’s ecosystem, and they are an essential part of biodiversity. Unfortunately, they are also at risk of extinction. Why is this a problem?
Bees are the world’s most important pollinator of food crops. One third of the food we consume daily relies on pollination. That’s why around 80% of the U.S. crop is said to be dependent on bees. Bees are responsible for $15 billion worth of U.S. crops. The bees also pollinate clover, wheat, hay, and alfalfa which are fed to animals. This means that bees support our livestock’s food and impact the meat and dairy industry as well.
Many valuable food and nonfood products are manufactured from ingredients dependent on bee pollination. Cotton and flax production are two products that are significantly impacted. The bee also produces beeswax which is used in household, cleaning, and beauty products.
The environment relies on bees as well for pollination of wild plants. These plants sustain our environment through being a food source for wild animals and other benefits. They also pollinate trees which provide us with oxygen as well as wood and other products.
Bees do more than just pollinate, they produce honey, which is a food source for the bee, for us, and for wild animals. Bees are also an important part of the food chain themselves. At least 24 species of birds and many species of insects prey on bees.
These hard workers create elaborate hives for their colonies, but they also help build homes for millions of other insects and animals. They pollinate the plants that become other habitats for countless other creatures.
We know that bees are such an essential part of the ecosystem, but they are at great risk. Between October 2018 and April 2019 40% of U.S. bee colonies died. This is the highest winter loss in 13 years. These die-offs are primarily the result of the bees losing their habitats to farming and urbanization. Fields of wildflowers that were once protected as pesticide and mower free zones are now being paved over for housing and industry.
What can you do for bees?
There are things that you can do to help honeybees. One thing you can do is to attract bees is to provide them a habitat in your garden. You can provide good nesting materials if you preserve an area in your yard for small brush. You could even decide to become a backyard beekeeper!
Another great strategy is to provide bees with food sources like need nectar and pollen. Nectar is loaded with sugars and it’s a bee’s main source of energy. Pollen provides a balanced diet of proteins and fats.Plant flowers that provide nectar and pollen. Native wildflowers are ideal.
Bees prefer single flowers over double flowers. They are drawn to blue, purple, and yellow flowers. It is best if you plant cluster of the same type of flower together rather than individual plants. Plant your flowers in a sunny spot without too much shade and some protection from strong winds.
Some flowers that are especially attractive:
- Anise Hyssop
- Butterfly Weed
- Bee Balm
- Black-Eyed Susan
At Bug Out, we’re pulling for the bees, and even if it’s for selfish reasons, it’s important for us to keep on top of their situation. Our job is to eliminate pests, but we love bees and want to help protect them.
Albert Einstein is reported to have said that if the honeybees were to disappear from the Earth, humans would be gone within 4 years. Let’s hope he is wrong, but then again, he was known to be pretty smart.
If you are having problems with any pests do not hesitate to reach out for help from professionals. Bug Out Pest Control can take care of any of these uninvited guests in your home! We can also help relocate bee swarms. Call us today! 317-777-5005
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