23 February, 2016

Of honey bees and humans

Did you know… 

...that one in three bites of food we eat is dependent on honey bees for pollination? 

…that in North America, honey bees pollinate nearly 95 kinds of fruits such as almonds, avocados, cranberries and apples?

…that of the 100 crops that provide 90% of the world’s food, over 70 are pollinated by bees?

Bees and other insects transfer pollen and seeds from one flower to another, fertilizing plants to enable them to grow and produce food. Cross-pollination helps at least 30% of the world’s crops and 90% of its wild plants to thrive. Without bees to spread seeds, many plants—including food crops—would die off.

But the world is fast losing its bee populations. Pathogens, habitat loss and pesticides are causing a condition known as Colony Collapse DisorderIn the last five years alone nearly one-third of all bee colonies in the U.S. have perished.

How can we help save the bees?

One way is to increase the number of bees and other pollinators in your neighborhood by adding plants that provide essential habitat to your garden. I’ve illustrated three of those plants, but you can click here to find a list of 15 plants to consider if you’d like to help save the bees. 

You can also download the BeeSmart app, a guide that helps you select plants for pollinators specific to your area. 

Then visit a native plant nursery to get started!

More information and sources:
Economic Value of Beekeeping in California
NRDC Bee Facts 
Pesticides and bees

1 comment:

Janice said...

YES! I totally support saving the BEES! I have a Rosemary in my garden and you wouldn't believe how many bees visit each day when it's covered with those beautiful little purple flowers.