Most people understand that bees and beekeeping are important to human beings. But many of us don’t know why exactly this is the case.
Beekeeping is important because of the vital role bees play in nature and human society. Beekeeping enables us to harvest valuable products such as honey, beeswax, propolis, bee pollen, and royal jelly. Bees are also crucial for the pollination of the world’s crops, which humans can do on a mass scale because of beekeepers.
By keeping bees, we can also understand the dangers they face, enabling us to devise strategies to eliminate potential threats and ensure the bee population can thrive.
Honey Bees Make Products That Are Important To Humans
One of the reasons beekeeping is so important is because it allows us to use the products made by bees. We can keep numerous bee colonies in an apiary, then collect honey and other things from their hives on a regular basis.
Keeping bees gives us direct access to:
Honey is the most desirable product made by honeybees and is harvested by beekeepers for a variety of uses. The main use, of course, is for food. People enjoy honey as a spread, but it is also commonly used in cooking, baking, and dessert making. Because of its natural properties like its high sugar content, acidity, and low moisture, honey has a very long shelf life.
Honeybees secrete wax to build honeycombs in which they store honey. It has been used by humans for thousands of years and is still commonly found today. Perhaps the use most people think of when it comes to beeswax is to make candles. However, beeswax is also widely used in pharmaceuticals such as pills and ointments. In skin care and cosmetics, beeswax is often used because of its ability to repel water. It can be found in products such as lip balm, hand creams, moisturizers, mustache wax and pomades, eye shadow, blush, and eyeliner.
Sometimes referred to as bee glue, propolis is the substance bees make from a variety of plant resins. It is used by bees to increase ventilation against rain and cold weather, as well as to protect the hive against parasites, fungus disease, and bacteria. Propolis has been used in traditional medicine for many years. While many believe it to have antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties, there is little scientific research that has been conducted to prove its effectiveness.
Royal jelly is a secretion made by bees to feed larvae. Royal jelly is often used as a dietary supplement. While some people believe it may have a variety of health benefits, there is little scientific research that proving its effectiveness.
Bee pollen is used as a supplement and is thought by some to have a variety of health benefits, such as relieving inflammation and strengthening the immune system. However, as is the case with propolis and royal jelly, there has been little scientific research to prove its effectiveness.
The Importance Of Beekeeping In Agriculture
Beekeeping plays a vital role in the economy. There’s no better example of this than the agricultural industry, which relies on migratory beekeeping to pollinate its crops.
Pollination is the movement of pollen from the stamens (male organs) to the stigma (female organs) in the same or a different flower. Pollen can be distributed by water, wind, and animals like bees. Many plants depend on bees to pollinate.
Pollination by animals is essential because it can be more reliable and efficient than dispersion through other sources like the wind. It is also vital for crop production. Around one-third of the food eaten by Americans come from crops that are pollinated by bees, including almonds, apples, cranberries, pumpkins, and broccoli, to name just a few.
Bees have adapted to become exceptional pollen carriers as they not only collect pollen for themselves, but they also do it to feed the young members of their colony. Bees have unique hair on their hind legs and abdomen that allow them to collect and carry significant amounts of pollen. The probability of bees transferring pollen from one flower to another is quite high as they can visit many flowers while carrying pollen before going back to their nests.
Studying Bees Gives Us An Insight Into The Threats They Face
Disease, parasites, pesticides, and long-distance transportation of colonies are among the many factors that lead to colony loss. Other long-term threats to bees involve climate change and deforestation. To humans, this means a potential reduction in food crops and a risk to the economy in general.
By keeping bees, we are able to learn more about them. This gives us an insight into how they live their lives. It can help us understand why bees die prematurely and how to help them. It also provides an incentive for beekeepers to build up their gardens with more native plants as they are the primary source of food of bees.
Beekeeping can be an excellent hobby to have as it will help you relax, spend time outdoors and learn more about these incredible creatures. If you also have flower beds, fruit trees, and a veggie garden, it will help to maintain them and grow them. Chances are, as you go into your beekeeping journey, you’ll also become an advocate for practices that protect bees, contributing positively to the environment and even your local economy.