Honeybees Are Here To Help

Most people will think of their stingers, but it's time we move past what is largely the only disadvantage to having honeybees around and focus on how great they are for plant pollination and as producers of honey and byproducts that are beneficial for our health. 

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For centuries farmers have kept their agriculture thriving by introducing honeybees into orchards using manmade hives. This process allows for bees to pollinate the plants, showing proven results in the production of vegetables, fruits and seeds.

Not only do bees pollinate 80% of the world's plants, they are also producers of honey and additional byproducts, which are used across many industries, including food, health, and household products. It's time we focus on how important and beneficial it is to keep them around.

Here's a quick overview of the advantages of honeybees:

1. They're vital for plant pollination: As honeybees travel from plant to plant collecting nectar for their hives, pollen attaches to their bodies and then gets transferred to the next plant or flower they visit. According to Honey Love, a Los Angeles based conservation organization, honeybees leave the hive 15 times per day and visit 100 flowers during each trip. That's 1,500 flowers or plants pollinated per day by a single honeybee (source). This transfer of pollen helps the plants or flowers produce fruits and seeds. 

2. The honey that they're best known for has a variety of uses: It's common knowledge that honey is a popular alternative to sugar that is rich in antioxidants and vitamins. It is less common knowledge that honey can also be used to fade scars, heal wounds, clear up your skin, make hair products, and bath soaks. Check out this article by Women's Health to learn 12 new ways honey can be used in your beauty routine. It's worth noting that honey is the only food that does not spoil.

3. It's not all about the honey: Honey generally steals the show, but honeybee byproducts are also very useful. Its most common byproduct, beeswax, can be used to make candles, wax wood furniture, polish concrete countertops, preserve bronze and copper fixtures, and waterproof leather goods. Propolis, a resinlike substance that bees produce from tree sap, is often used in furniture wax and car wax. Both beeswax and propolis can also be sold as natural health alternatives that help fight infections. (source)

4. Without them many animals wouldn't have homes: Honeybees are insect architects when it comes to building their elaborate hives, but they also help build homes for millions of other species. As pollinators they have a large hand in the growth of many types of forests and woodland areas which are populated by millions of insects and animals. Without bees as pollinators, the animals that depend on these plants to survive would not exist (source).

If you're still not convinced that honeybees are here to help, consider this—honeybees are the only insects that produce food eaten by humans, and one out of every three or four bites of food you eat is thanks to bees.

 

To minimize the use of plastic in your own life, look around your home and work to identify plastic items. From there, seek to find alternatives.