About 15 billion years ago the ‘Big Bang’ happened and the universe came into existence. It is said that our earth has originated about 4.6 billion years ago. And then gradually the life on earth came into existence. Researchers say that the amazing insects called ‘Honey bees’ exist on this earth even before the start of the human evolution.
Honey bees belong to Hemiptera family of insects and Apis genus. Bees are important to us in many ways. Mainly, we know the honey bees for the delicious honey which they produce from the nectar of the flowers. But apart from honey, we also get other useful products from honey bees which are bees wax, bee pollen, propolis, royal jelly and bee venom. Wait…this is not all! In addition to all these products, we get the most useful service from the honey bees which is called ‘Pollination’. It is not an exaggeration but a fact that 1/3rd of the food we eat has come from the pollination by bees.
Pollination through the agency of insects is called ‘Entomophily’ and these plants are called ‘Entomophilous’. Among these insect pollinators, honey bees are the most important pollinators as approximately 70-80% of total insect pollination is achieved with the help of bees.
Flowering plants have originated some 160 million years ago. And among these flowering plants, there are so many entomophilous which need honey bees for its pollination. In the case of such pollination, the plants get the benefit as its reproduction process is boosted through bees and as a token of gratitude for this wonderful service, bees get sweet nectar and pollen from the flowers of these plants. And most importantly, we human beings get the benefit from this bee pollination in the form of good quality increased the yield of fruits and crops.
These days we see massive decrease in bee population due to various reasons such as cutting of flowering trees on large scale, destroying the bee hives (bee nests) out of ignorance and fear by using fire or pest control, destroying the bee hives while extracting honey by using unscientific methods, building tall mobile phone towers, using harsh chemical insecticides/pesticides/weedicides on crops, drastic climatic changes, etc.It is our moral duty and responsibility to save the bee population from this mass destruction. To protect and conserve the bees, we are required to plant bee-friendly flora and educate people on the importance of bees in nature. Especially the farmers need this education as it is a huge benefit to farmers if they know the importance of these social insects in farming. If the farmers place bee boxes in their farms, they will not only get good quality increased yield through bee pollination but they will also get pure natural honey from the bees kept in the boxes. They can sell this honey in the market and in this way they will get additional income.
Albert Einstein, the greatest scientist also emphasized on the importance of bee pollination in his famous quote -‘If the bee disappeared off the surface of the earth, then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.’
So friends, let us save our earth and make it a better place to live by saving the bees.
Bee Basket Society has been formed by Amit Godse for protection and conservation of honey bees.You can also get connected with Bee Basket and participate in its various conservation activities as a volunteer.
Be a friend of Bee!
Written by Ms.Priya Phulambrikar
(Secretary of Bee Basket Society)