Let’s do a six degrees of separation puzzle. You’ve heard of this, right? Six degrees of separation is the theory that every living thing on earth is connected to another through no more than six steps of separation – a “friend of a friend” type connection. Let’s take a look at the six degrees of separation we have as human from bees – yes, the insect you steer clear of and occasionally swat at, even may be allergic to its sting. The reality is, these tiny creatures are hard workers, and a lot of the food we enjoy, is a direct product of a bee.
Bees are responsible for pollenating the plants and vegetables you would find in an organic food market in Myrtle Beach, but what you may not realize, is they also play a role in the burgers you’ll grill all summer long. Pollination isn’t just important to the organic foods we eat; it plays a vital role in foraging crops – like field beans and clover – that are fed to livestock. We then depend on that livestock for meat.
All sorts of fruit and vegetables are pollinated by bees, such as broccoli, squash, apples, and almonds. In fact, nearly one-third of all the food we consume requires pollination. When you head into your favorite vegetarian restaurant Myrtle Beach, it’s likely that the majority of the food offered has been affected by bees. If bees were to stop pollinating, here are some of the natural foods that would cease to exist:
|· Broccoli||· Asparagus|
|· Cantaloupes||· Cucumbers|
|· Pumpkins||· Blueberries|
|· Watermelons||· Almonds|
|· Apples||· Cranberries|
Honey is likely the food for which bees are best known, and for good reason. Honey.com reports the 2013 honey crop was valued at $317.1 million. It’s clear humans are big fans of the sweet nectar bees produce as their winter food. One bee hive, which can range from 10,000 to 60,000 bees, can produce 60 pounds or more of honey in a strong season, but the average hive usually yields about 25 pounds of honey a season.
Unfortunately, as we build up industries, factories, and new construction neighborhoods, humans are slowly tearing away at the bees’ natural habitat. There are small steps we can all take, though, to help support the survival of these instrumental insects (even if owning a bee farm isn’t your thing).
Growing flowers that are native to your area, and hosting a variety of them in your yard or garden, allowed the many different types of bees to pollenate. When bees emerge in the spring, they have to have nectar and pollen sources to start their colonies. Without these essentials, the bees will continue to die off. So plant a few flowers, keep them blooming every spring, and support these insects that do so much for our food supply.