Why bees are important for the ecosystem — Oscar’s student essay

Why Bees Are Important For The Ecosystem?

The question is not why bees are important to the ecosystem. I would better ask: Why are bees key to the existence of human beings and our world as we know it today? Simply because bees are necessary to produce the crops that currently supply 90% of the world’s food.

Now that the issue of bees, their disappearance and their consequences for pollination is in fashion (again), I am going to try to clarify a little why bees are so necessary in our survival.

Just a few numbers: 60% of the fruits and vegetables that we consume today would disappear as they were not pollinated if bees disappear. Of the 100 species of crops that supply 90% of the world’s food, bees pollinate more than 70% of them. 

In addition, they pollinate more than 25,000 species of flowering plants. Without these insects, agricultural activity would practically disappear, leaving many families without a source of income. Of the 20,000 existing species, only 7 are honey producers.

Western honey bees produce 1.6 million tons of honey each year. A single honey bee visits around 7,000 flowers a day. To produce a kilo of honey it would take four million visits.

Bee pollinating on a flower blossom

Now some curiosities: Queen bees live up to six years of age. But with the passage of time their reproductive capacity decreases. When the queen bee dies, the workers will create a new queen by choosing a young larva, and feed it a special food called “royal jelly”. 

Bees adjust their internal compass to solar movements and orient themselves with the sun. Through a dance it is how a bee warns the other bees about the discovery of food. So important is the work of bees, that the United Nations awarded May 20 as World Bee Day.

Bees as pollinators, contribute directly to food security. But it is also that they are essential to conserve biodiversity, as well as to warn about new environmental risks, indicating the health of local ecosystems. Pollinators help reduce the effects of climate change on food security.

Every day that passes, for these little flyers is a countdown. Well, despite advances in almost all areas of life, it seems that we are forgetting the most important ones. Nature gives us many things that we seem to ignore most often. 

One of the tasks we have, apart from enjoying these natural gifts, is to preserve the species, since most of them are important to continue with the development of human life. And this is the case of bees. These pollinators, together with others such as butterflies, hummingbirds and other insects, are threatened by the activities that human beings carry out in nature.

The health of bees is an issue that continues to be of crucial importance, as it is something that directly affects our biodiversity. So please think twice the next time you are going to kill a bee because it bothers you. Our future can be decided with these small actions that are in our hands to change.

Author: Oscar Pompa Rodriguez

Lewis University

Student Scholarships

Every year Thrive Pest Control hosts an essay contest and the reward is a 1-year scholarship at a 4-year university in the United States. This blog post is one of those scholarships.