Bees are amazing insects. You may only see them on flowers in the Spring and Summer, but they’ve been here a lot longer than we have. In fact they’ve been on this planet for at least 100 Million years, that’s about 25 Million years before Tyrannosaurus Rex appears and a massive 90 Million years before our ancestors showed their faces.
In the UK there are several hundred types of bee, they tend to fall into the categories of Social (like Honeybees and Bumblebees) and Solitary Bees (like Mason Bees and Leaf Cutter Bees). By far the most efficient pollinators are the Honeybees.
Individual Honeybees only pollinate one flower their whole life, which is only about 40 days, so as new honeybees are born they will focus on pollinating a different flower. This means that the pollen that little honeybee is carrying will always end up in the right flower in order that it can reproduce.
But it’s a bit more important than flowers reproducing.
Part of a flower reproducing is that it produces seeds, sometimes in berries or fruit. Obviously you like to eat fruit and vegetables, but without the Bees, these would disappear.
You’re not the only one that likes to eat them – so do some birds, like Robins. So if the Bees go, so do the birds that depend on the berries.
And then there’s the food in our cupboards. You can’t make Jam without fruit, and without Bees there is no fruit, or smoothies or strawberry milkshakes.
But chips are safe aren’t they? Well not really, chips are cooked in oil, and most oil comes from the likes of rapeseed – which is pollinated by Bees.
So if we lose Bees, we lose birdlife, other insects, fruit, flowers, vegetables, oh and clothes.
Most clothing has cotton in it, and guess what – Bees pollinate cotton plants.
In terms of the food chain they are a ‘corner stone’ species, if they go a large part of our natural world goes with them.
Bees are amazing – and you can do something really amazing by saving them for all of us.