The Importance Of Bees In The Ecosystem

Bearing in mind that bees pollinate a large part of the crops that supply the world, we must assess their role in the environment.
The importance of bees in the ecosystem

In addition to making honey, the most notable work of bees is pollination. The transport of pollen favors the fertilization of plants, which can thus produce fruits and seeds. Part of the world’s food production and biodiversity depends on it. Without a doubt, we must recognize the impact of  bees on the ecosystem.

Despite its importance, the number of bees decreases every day. About 20 thousand species are known and perform an irreplaceable work in nature, its preservation being fundamental.

As the bee fights for its survival, they  collect pollen from plant stamens and transport the seeds. Using their body, they facilitate the union of the male gamete in the pollen grain with the female gamete in the egg.

The natural process guarantees the production of at least a third of the products that humans and other species consume daily. Even so-called solitary bees play an important role in the ecosystem.

They benefit the reproduction and survival of rare  or wild plants in regions where other pollinating agents do not act.

Without bees, agriculture would disappear

Bearing in mind that bees pollinate a large part of the crops that supply the world, we shouldn’t ignore them. Without them,  60% of fruits and vegetables would disappear, as would about 25,000 species of flowering plants.

With the disappearance of this species,  food diversity would be reduced; agricultural activity as well and, with it, millions of sources of income and food. The lack of bees can lead to food shortages, economic imbalance and, in the worst case, hunger.

bees producing honey

Is there any reason to think that bees will go extinct? The subject has occupied many scholars since the turn of the millennium.

Why are bees disappearing?

Many worker bees die from the use of pesticides and other toxic substances. In addition, some  industrialized techniques, such as monoculture, reduce food options  for these insects. And not to mention that the increase in predators and viruses has spread into the environment, putting bee colonies at risk.

The situation is serious. In Europe alone, the decline of bees is over 25%. In the United States, a third of its population is affected. Although forecasts are not optimistic, there are many actions that can be taken to preserve the bees.

The  recovery of organic agriculture,  for sustainable development, and the study of pesticides and their impacts on the ecosystem, are steps that will help to preserve them. It will also impact soil protection, water conservation and other factors that will help preserve our environment.

The pollination of flowers

The manufacture of honey, which can be industrialized and produce good yields and benefits, is not the insect’s main function. The same cannot be said about flower pollination. Without plant fertilization, the trophic chain breaks down, preventing the birth of plant species.

Bees in a disposable cup

Bees are vital to biodiversity. Hence the need to promote and support sustainable education. It is necessary to help create favorable habitats by controlling pests naturally and using organic products. The purchase of honey from local beekeepers and its derivatives will favor sustainable activity.

Bees in the ecosystem

Bees are not the only pollinating vectors, but they are the most efficient,  responsible for 80% of plant pollination in the world. Their furry body and the electrostatic charge they transmit contribute to the pollen “sticking” to their paws and other parts of their little body. They are herbivores and obtain energy by taking advantage of the high sugar content of the nectar.

This type of hymenopteran insect has  organs that facilitate pollination in different ways. With their special features in the hind legs and abdomen, they are able to collect pollen. Their mouthparts also allow them to suck nectar from flowers, according to the species.

In bees,  antennas are olfactory organs, which are complemented by their perception of ultraviolet light, used to identify flowers. Butterflies, flies and beetles also belong to large groups of pollinators, indispensable in the ecosystem.

The work of bees in the ecosystem is laborious and slow. They have to land on about  10 million flowers to produce a liter of honey. But, as we’ve seen, honey production is just one of the great benefits they bring us.

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