"The last word in ignorance is the man who says of an animal or plant:
What good is it?"
~ Aldo Leopold ~
Bees are struggling as a species. Until recently, I had no idea how important bees are for the health of many ecosystems, nor was I aware of the wide diversity of bee species. Like most people, I've swatted away any bee that ventured into my personal space, driven by fear of getting stung. After reading about their plight, however, I am now inviting them to share my backyard by planting bee friendly flowers and offering them prime real estate in the form of a bee condo.
Depending on who you ask, bees are negatively impacted by changing environmental conditions, pesticides, fungicides or other chemicals, rising infection rates, changes to beekeeping practices, the agricultural industry, malnutrition, loss of habitat, altered genetics, or any combination thereof.
Compared to honey bees, native wild bees are solitary in nature, meaning they do not live in a colony and the queens are not dependent upon worker or nurse bees to take care of their eggs. Most bees live underground, while some nest in trees or small holes. While native bees do not make honey, they also do not sting and are far better pollinators than honey bees. In fact, many species of animals are dependent on bees for their survival because their food source, including nuts, fruits and seeds relies on insect pollination, as does a staggering 35% of global crop production!
Despite their tiny size, the legacy of queen bees has created a tremendous buzz around here.
“If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live.”
~ Albert Einstein ~