For hundreds of years, honey bees have been a fascination for man. Recent environmental research has highlighted the importance bees have for the environment. Honey bees serve two major roles.
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First, they are pollinators. Second, they are producers of honey (and other bee products). It is hard to overstate the importance of pollination. About 80% of all insect-pollinated plants are pollinated by honey bees. These plants would not be pollinated without them, and food production would plummet as a result. More than 100 of our staple food crops depend on insects for pollination.
Bees are also important for their honey production. The bee can travel up to four miles to find nectar-bearing flowers from his hive. The bees eat their own nectar and additional nectar is taken to a second stomach. This nectar is then deposited in honeycombs, and fanned to remove excess moisture. This water helps preserve honey for a longer time naturally. This sticky, golden substance is used to feed the entire colony. It is a great food additive for humans. It can also be found in cosmetics and medicine.
It also provides other resources such as propolis, beeswax and pollen. Propolis is a type of bee glue. It is used by bees to seal cracks in their hives and for their own maintenance. Beeswax is a substance the worker bees exude from their abdomen wax glands. It is collected within the hive to make honeycomb. This wax has been used in candle-making for years. It is used as an ingredient in many creams and lotions.
The bees collect pollen and place it in their pollen baskets. It is used by the bees as a nutritious food for their brood because of its high protein content. It is best used as a supplement to our health. A movement has been started to support small bee farmers in order to preserve all the bee benefits. To make a difference, you don’t need to breed bees on an enormous scale. A few hives can help maintain your local environment, and provide a great hobby that you may not have considered.