Why are bees so important, particularly honey bees?
- Honey bees are responsible for 1.2 to 5.4 billion dollars in agriculture productivity in the US according to Pollinator Partnership.
- A honey bee worker can produce up to 1/12 a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime.
- The Queen honey bee lays up to 1,500 eggs per day or up to 1 million in her lifetime which is 3-4 years.
- A worker bee who collects pollen may only live three weeks because they visit 50-100 flowers in one trip or up to 2,000 flowers in a day. During drought years when plants are struggling and may not produce as many flowers, bees have less of a resource to sustain them.
According to Pollinator Partnership about 75 to 95% of plants need help with pollination, the following are items recommended by the Xerces Society and Pollinator Partnership for the role you play in helping pollinators:
- Create natural habitat areas by agricultural farms, urban agriculture and community gardens all will increase their yield.
- Plant the right plants and create a diversity of bloom with some areas of habitat for native bees for nesting. These include brush piles, old tree stumps and open sandy ground.
- Stop the use of both organic and non-organic insecticides because both can harm pollinators including removing noninvasive wildflowers. This takes away the ESSENTIAL nectar and pollen for hummingbirds, butterflies and bees.