bee, honeybee, pollinator

Curious Conservationist Question of the Day: Bees

As many of us know, bees are pretty important pollinators. . . But do you know how important?

Bees are responsible for producing one out over every _____ bites of food we eat?

A. 3

B. 30

C. 300

Answer:  A. 3

Wow!  Isn’t that amazing??

One-third of everything we eat we owe to bees. 

Most crops grown for their fruits (including vegetables such as squash, cucumber, tomato and eggplant), nuts, seeds, fiber (such as cotton), and hay (alfalfa grown to feed livestock), require pollination by insects.

Pollination

-the transfer of pollen from the male parts of a flower to the female parts of a flower of the same species, which results in fertilization of plant ovaries and the production of seeds.

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The most popular pollinator is the bee. 

( Click here for fun bee facts!)

 

Sadly, honeybee populations are dwindling at an alarming rate, and nobody knows exactly why. The total number of managed honeybee colonies has gone from 5 million in the 1940s to only 2.5 million today. Astonishingly enough, the Winter of 2012/2013 saw total losses of managed honeybee colonies at 31.1 percent, a figure higher than average for the last six years.

The USDA describes the situation — known as colony collapse disorder (CCD) — as a serious problem threatening the health of honeybees. Researchers are still looking into potential causes in four areas: pathogens, parasites, management stressors and environmental stressors. Unfortunately, despite a number of claims in the general and scientific media, a cause or causes of CCD have not been identified by researchers.

The Xerces Society is a great advocator to invertebrate conservation.  Check out their partnership with WholeFoods Markets in their “Protecting Pollinators” campaign.

Did you know over 100 US crops rely on honey bees and other pollinators! Here is just  a short list:

Apples
Mangos
Rambutan
Kiwi Fruit
Plums
Peaches
Nectarines
Guava
Rose Hips
Pomegranites
Pears
Black and Red Currants
Alfalfa
Okra
Strawberries
Onions
Cashews
Cactus
Prickly Pear
Apricots
Allspice
Avocados
Passion Fruit
Lima Beans
Kidney Beans
Adzuki Beans
Green Beans
Orchid Plants
Custard Apples
Cherries
Celery
Coffee
Walnut
Cotton
Lychee
Flax
Acerola – used in Vitamin C supplements
Macadamia Nuts
Sunflower Oil
Goa beans
Lemons
Buckwheat
Figs
Fennel
Limes
Quince
Carrots
Persimmons
Palm Oil
Loquat
Durian
Cucumber
Hazelnut
Cantaloupe
Tangelos
Coriander
Caraway
Chestnut
Watermelon
Star Apples
Coconut
Tangerines
Boysenberries
Starfruit
Brazil Nuts
Beets
Mustard Seed
Rapeseed
Broccoli
Cauliflower
Cabbage
Brussels Sprouts
Bok Choy (Chinese Cabbage)
Turnips
Congo Beans
Sword beans
Chili peppers, red peppers, bell peppers, green peppers
Papaya
Safflower
Sesame
Eggplant
Raspberries
Elderberries
Blackberries
Clover
Tamarind
Cocoa
Black Eyed Peas
Vanilla
Cranberries
Tomatoes
Grapes

 

If any of you favorite foods are on this list.  Please consider helping out our pollinators.  Which one can you do to help?

pollinators

 

Until next time my friends, this is

Ms. Mallory

inviting you to

Ms. Mallory Adventures, Ms. mallory, Step Outside and Adventure

 

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