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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

A Day for Bees

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Monday, May 20, 2019/Categories: natural history, wildlife conservation, sustainability, environment, climate change

                       

          Pollinating Honey Bee, World Bee Day, 5-20-2019 (credit: UNEP)

Today is World Bee Day. These essential pollinators should be celebrated every day for the major benefits they provide.

According to the American Beekeepers Association:

bees contribute nearly $20 billion to the value of U.S. crop production with even more worldwide. Many crops would not exist without honey bee pollination when blooming. Honey bees gather pollen and nectar and in the process pollinate a myriad of crops like apples, cranberries, melons, and broccoli. Blueberries and cherries are 90% dependent on honey bees while almonds depend entirely on their pollination to produce the popular nuts.

Honey bees and other bee species are found on every continent except Antarctica. Besides pollinating agricultural crops, their role is critical in ecosystem services providing the pollination necessary for wild plants to produce seeds and be further distributed in natural landscapes. In Australia alone, 1600 species of bees are known so far (CSIRO) and new ones are still being identified. Unfortunately, bees are threatened by many environmental stresses including: habitat modification from land clearing; parasitic mites, overuse of pesticides, and climate change. However, individuals can help bee populations by planting bee-friendly garden plants, leaving areas of native vegetation untouched, reduction in pesticide use, raising bees for honey, and being mindful of all the benefits these crucial insects provide. Becoming more educated about bees is a good place to start. 

Teaching children about bees is key. What better way to start the learning process than by designing a World Bee Day project!

WHB

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