Why Bees Are Important - Main Reasons
We keep receiving news about the decline of our precious bee population. Not only is climate change and human intervention having a negative effect on our world’s bee population, but many are choosing to ignore these important facts. The fact of the matter is, the importance of bees in the ecosystem goes far beyond what many imagine.
For more about why bees are important as well as why are bees dying, keep reading here at AnimalWised.
Why bees are important to the environment
Bees are Hymenopterans, insects of the superfamily Apoidea. The most well-known bee, as well as the most important to us humans, is the Apis mellifera, otherwise known as the Western honey bee. The Western honey bee is a domestic species used for the production of honey. In addition, artificial hives are placed near fields to promote pollination.
The use of pesticides, some of which have already been banned in the European Union, affect both honey bees and wild bees. This has led to the evolution of pesticide-resistant honey bees, which, in turn, has led to a decrease in bee population.
In many occasions beekeepers move their beehives to crops far from their original environment. They are hired by farmers so that these bees pollinate their plants. This leads to the spread of diseases and parasites which has also had a huge effect on the world’s bee population.
For more, we recommend reading our article where we discuss how are pesticides killing bees.
Importance of honey bees for sustaining life on earth
All bee species are incredibly important to balance different ecosystems. In fact, thanks to bees, many species of plants are pollinated in forests, meadows and a multitude of ecosystems, resulting in a production of fruits that serve as food for many wild animals.
Not all bees are social animals, in fact, many are solitary animals. Some bees are nocturnal and pollinate plants which only bloom during the nighttime. In addition, bees are considered food for many birds and animals. Some species, such as the European bee-eater (Merops apiaster), feed almost exclusively on bees.
For more, we suggest taking a look at our article where we list the different types of honey bee species.
Why are bees important to biodiversity
Without bees many plant species would not be able to reproduce, but why? If there were no bees, pollen wouldn’t be carried from one flower to another. Many fruits and seeds would cease to exist, including plants that humans feed on and vegetables used to feed cattle, hence the important of bees in agriculture.
So, what would happen if there were no bees? A world without bees, is a world without food. In addition, bees also produce honey, propolis, royal jelly and many other beneficial products used for both food and pharmacology.
How do honey bees help humans?
Not only are bees incredibly important when it comes to our environment, but without them we would also completely lose honey, wax, candles and the anti-bacterial benefits of all honey products.
Without bees, we would lose...
- Brussel sprouts
- Cocoa beans
- Many seed and nuts
Why are bees dying
There is growing evidence of the importance of bees and their role in biodiversity, agriculture and for human existence. This, however, does not seem to be sufficient enough reason to look for or implement a solution on how to save bees. In fact, humans are the main cause of bee population decline.
Bees are not disappearing for a single reason, their are a set of factors that are causing this rapid decline. The first include a loss of habitat, the degradation of ecosystems or a total destruction or substitution of forests and fields for crops. Another prominent factor is the fragmentation of habitat, which causes the genetic isolation of different bee populations and consanguinity.
Invasive species are also adding to the disappearance of bees, due to the appearance of new parasites and diseases. Climate change, which can also not be forgotten, is taking a massive toll on bee, plant and animals species all over the world.
It’s important to know that all of these above mentioned factors do not act independently, they are all related and driven by a single animal species: human beings.
Importance of bees in the ecosystem
A bee’s life cycle is incredible and because of this, more and more people and wondering how we can help save bees. Many are learning how to make beehives and contribute as much as they can to help save bees, specifically those in critical danger of extinction, such as the Megachile cypricola or Bombus rubriventris.
If you want to learn more about the incredible bee species, we recommend taking a look at our article where we discuss how does a bee become a queen.
If you want to read similar articles to Why Bees Are Important - Main Reasons, we recommend you visit our Facts about the animal kingdom category.
- Brown, M. J., & Paxton, R. J. (2009). The conservation of bees: a global perspective. Apidologie, 40(3), 410-416.
- Diodato, L., Fuster, A., & Maldonado, M. (2008). Valor y beneficios de las abejas nativas,(Hymenoptera: Apoidea), en los bosques del Chaco Semiárido, Argentina. Quebracho-Revista de Ciencias Forestales, (15).
- Dewulf, A. & Praz, C. 2015. Megachile cypricola. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T19199482A69263110. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-1.RLTS.T19199482A69263110.en. Downloaded on 23 May 2019.
- Sasal, Y. 2016. Bombus rubriventris. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T21215134A21215301. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-1.RLTS.T21215134A21215301.en. Downloaded on 23 May 2019.