What are bees? Why do we need them? What is the importance of bees? How do they play an integral role in the balance of our ecosystem? What would it be like in the world without these mighty insects?
Bees are tiny insects that do a great deal of responsibility. Imagine a world without farmers and toilers that bring food to every man’s table. Bees are made symbols of gaiety and abundance of some popular food chains in the Philippines. Some franchises even made mascots out of them.
However, their prime essence is their responsibility for ecological balance maintenance like tropical forests, mangrove trees, agricultural lands, and other different environments. Simply we call it preserving the well-balanced biodiversity of nature.
We are talking about honey bees. They are the super-important pollinators, widely distributed flying insects that are known for their ability to collect nectar from varied flowers and make honey. Their bodies are covered with many hairs to which flower pollens adhere. They are renowned for producing honey, royal jelly, pollen, beeswax, and many more. But the work of these insects entails much more. These creatures get their biggest contribution as pollinators of a vast number of plants that make almost all of the world’s food. Hence the world’s food production depends on them.
Importance of Honey Bees
There’s a big margin of losing all the plants that these creatures pollinate thereby disturbing the food chain. The animals that eat those plants and the people as well are greatly affected. That simply means the world without bees is barren. There is not enough to sustain humanity’s consumption. Without a doubt, there is a huge economic importance of honey bees. Imagine how hunger strikes and economic chaos would be like.
Philippine’s Context About Honey Bees
The Philippines is a mega-diverse country that is home to some unique stingless species of these bee-autiful creatures. Almost half of them are native to the Philippines. Some of them are domesticated for agricultural purposes and some of them are found in abundance locally. Some species are key pollinators for nine crop species like macadamia, mango, coconut, and many more. They also pollinate the majority of flowering plants.
Bees build their nests called hives or honeycombs that store their honey. These creatures have amazing abilities from making their homes, safeguarding them, and keeping them cool during warmer months. Honey bees in the Philippines play a major factor in economic diversity and progress. Bees have high commercial value because of their function in the food chain especially in an agricultural country like the Philippines. They are labeled as one of the backbones that make the country’s ecosystem; however, there are lingering challenges to the conservation of these animals recently.
Global View About Honey Bees
Honey bees around the world have been diminishing at a worrying rate in recent years brought about by man-made factors like the use of pesticides and largely due to climate change. They are among the threatened animal species. Greenhouse gas emissions affect the animal-plant relationship on the food chain. These factors lead to a decline in agricultural biodiversity further disrupting the pollination process and leads to lower production of crops.
Urbanization is also causing these creatures to decline because of their habitat disturbance and destruction. The Philippines is not exempted from this phenomenon either. There is not enough data to assess on a national scale the degradation of the population of these animals but surely they are diminishing.
According to José Graziano da Silva, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization since January 2012 “Bees are a sign of well-functioning ecosystems.” Bees indicate the status of our environment. It is viable to find out what is happening around by just assessing the status of these animals. And from that, we can implement the needed precautionary measures ahead to prevent future problems.
Without bees, we would likely be unable to enjoy the food like fruits and vegetables we love and cherish the stuff they produce like honey, beeswax, and others. They are vital to our food cycle from the animal kingdom to the plant kingdom. So in order to sustain the world’s growing population through diverse, good quality, and balanced food we must take care of them and diminish the external threats that affect them.
Let’s avoid the stuff that deteriorates them to ensure the well-being of mankind. Bees are minute creatures but play a very big role in the food chain process. Without improved measures to ensure their protection, their degradation would do more harm and affliction. It would create more than just a sting on the human population.
We have talked about the importance of bees. Now, let’s dig more about them and talk about the different ways on how to profit from humble bee-ginnings.