How Important Honey Bees Are to Humans

Categories: Honey Bee

If humans could realize that we depend on nature for our survival then maybe we would be willing to do more to save natural ecosystems and help bees thrive. Systematic investigation reveals that the reduction in the honey bee population is complicated. Many matters are leading to a decrease in the honey bee population. We lose bees from many factors including forage loss, pesticides, diseases, mite infestations, and temperature change. We need bees. Forage loss is the main cause of colony losses.

Starving and malnourished bees can’t find food. As a result, bees are dying. It’s difficult for bees to survive on supplements as a major dietary source. Bees need to eat in their natural ecosystems so they can meet their nutritional needs which help bees fight off disease and stay healthy.

What if the pesticides used to kill damaging insects also harm the bees? Some studies show that pesticides harm the bees. Pesticides may damage bees nervous system causing them to become lost and unable to find their hives.

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However, in some countries, bees are doing well despite widespread pesticide use. So the research data on pesticides is not yet conclusive. Varroa mites attack honey bees by sucking their blood. They attack both the adults and the larvae. The mites will kill entire colonies and then move on to kill other hives.

Both wild and colonized bees pollinate flowers, plants, and crops to make food for humans and animals. In fact, according to the U.S. and Wildlife Service (2016), “pollinators, such as most bees and some birds, bats, and other insects, play a crucial role in flowering plant reproduction in the production of most fruits and vegetables.

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” Without the assistance of pollinators, most plants cannot reproduce fruits and seeds. Pollinators help pollinate over 75% of our flowering plants and about 75% of our crops. The remaining 25% compromise the wind-pollinated grasses including rice, wheat, corn, etc. However, in the last 10 years, the honey bee population has been declining. What is causing this problem?

Scientific research shows that the decline of the honey bee population is complex. There are a number of issues that are contributing to the decline of the honey bee population. These include forage loss, pesticide use, virus/diseases, variola mite infestations, and temperature/climate change. Forage loss is a major cause of colony losses. Bees are malnourished and starving in the winter because they can’t find enough food to eat. This is impacting both wild and colonized honey bees. Both wild and colonized bees fertilize flowers, plants, and crops.

There are a number of reasons that forage loss has occurred. Humans are using large areas of land to plant singular types of crops. In addition, as the human population increases the availability of a natural ecosystem for the bees declines. This makes it harder for bees to meet their nutritional needs. A pathogen is an agent such as an organism that causes disease. It’s harder for colonized bees to fight off pathogens when they are fed protein supplements (De-Grandi-Hoffman et al., 2015). Protein supplements do not fully meet the bees nutritional needs. Studies show that bees need to eat natural forage to stay healthy and meet their nutritional needs.

Pesticide companies argue that pesticides are not harming the bees but, the beekeepers say pesticides are harming the bees because they found pesticides inside bees and plants. Some scientists argue that pesticides are a problem. For example, Grossman (2013) argues that pesticides have been shown to confuse navigation in bees by attacking the nervous system. In addition, some scientific studies have shown that pesticides impact queen bee health in particular.

On the other hand, according to the University of California, honeybees are apparently doing fine in Australia where pesticides are widely used and varroa mites are not a problem there (Grossman 2013). In addition, in Canada bees are healthy despite the widespread use of pesticides. Pesticides are used widely in Europe and the United States where colony decline is at its worst (Becher, Osborne, Thorbek, Kennedy, & Grimm 2013). Scientists are still looking into why there is such a regional divide in bee health.

Diseases, viruses, parasites, bacteria, and fungi also contribute to death in bees. When provided the correct nutrients through natural forage, bees can fight off disease. For example, bees have been seen foraging on mushroom mycelium. Fungi on these mushrooms produce antimicrobial activity, including compounds active against bacteria, other fungi, or viruses that help bees fight off disease (Stamets, et al., 2018) Varroa mites attack honey bees. Varroa mites are really small but visible to the naked eye. They suck blood from the adult bees and brood that are developing. Baby varroa mites grow and spread. According to Bessin (2015), an entomologist at the University of Kentucky, “Untreated infestations of varroa mites will increase and may kill colonies.”

Another way bees are declining is through climate change. Although we do not know the exact impact of possible environmental changes on honey bees as a result of climate change, there is a large body of evidence that environmental changes have a direct change on honey bee development. “In the two-year field experiment that altered the temperature of the bees’ nests to stimulate a warmer, future climate; 35 percent of bees died in the first year and 70 percent died in the second year (Morris 2018).” That was in comparison to a mortality rate of 1 to 2% in the control group.

Arizona likely has the highest native beat diversity in the United States. A 2013 study of six sites in Southeastern Arizona and the northern border of Sonora and Mexico representing Chihuahuan Desert scrub, grassland, and conifers, recorded 540 bee species, most of which were found at only one site. In the United States pollination by honeybees directly or indirectly contributed to over 19 billion of crops and 2010. Pollination by other insects pollinators contributed to nearly 10 billion dollars of crops in 2010.

The species of the Mason-bee is native to the Western United States and Northern Mexico. This type of solitary bee builds nests inside of holes and cracks and dead tree stumps. As a primary pollinator of the manzanita shrubs in the wild, this little-studied bee may have a big effect on our ecosystem. Mason bees can move farther from Allen’s to cooler climates in the future but this will take them from the Manzanita plants. This will not only have consequences for the bees but also for the plants that rely on them for pollination. Best Mason Diaz probably one of the best pollinators for plant species so if you take them away from the party later, you might take the plant in the longer-term.

Native bees, however, significantly contribute to cross-pollination and, and in some cases provide all of the pollinations. In order to support the native the community, a wealth of flowers is necessary. Agroforestry provides a unique opportunity to enhance nectar and pollen sources and nesting sites for crop-pollinating bees. So, consider how to include trees that provide pollen and nectar for bees. around and under each tree A diversity of plants, together, produce continuous, a bunch of flowers.

For the maximum benefit to pollinators, as well as ease of implementation, considering the following criteria. Local native plants can survive without attention, are good sources of nectar pollen for native bees, and are usually not weeds. Flowers with diverse shapes, sizes, and colors will support the greatest variety of crop pollinators. Replacing mulch with a bunch of grasses or flowers, will control the weeds and, at the same time, provide opportunities for solitary bees to construct ground nests.

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How Important Honey Bees Are to Humans. (2021, Dec 23). Retrieved from

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