About bees, flowers, pollination and our environment

You can find a bee almost anywhere in the world. The only continent without bees is Antarctica. Everywhere else, more than 20 thousand species of bees work everyday to make our planet a more colorful place, full of flowers and also tastier, full of fruits. 

You may wonder how can such tiny bugs like bees do something so important to our planet. Nature is cool like that and made every part of our world special. Bees are important and so are flowers...  and they need each other. You probably spotted a Bee in a flower before. Together with other animals, bees are responsible for pollination – taking pollen from one flower to another and helping them to create seeds and fruits.

Did you know that 35% of what we eat and 70% of cultivated plants depend on pollination? And there is more! Mobstir Sarah learned that:

Bees are the biggest cross pollinators in the world and without them, 30% of our worlds crops, and 90% of wild plants would die.

That is a lot! More than that, everywhere in the world people create bees to produce the honey you buy at the market. Without bees, we would have problems producing food.

What about Bee Hives?

You’d think a bee hive would be a boring place, but actually it isn’t! I wish I could live inside a beehive! Luckily, I’m a girl. Boy bees (drone bees) don’t collect honey, and they are sent away in the winter to die! Their only job is to mate with the girl bees. The only bees that get to stay in the hive all year are the Queen bee, and the worker bees. All the worker bees are girls.

The worker bees job is to collect pollen and nectar from flowers, feed larvae & pupa and build the cone and wax of the hive. Just one bee does a little bit of work, but together with a whole colony they do a lot of work!

The Queen bee is the most important bee in the hive because she is the one that makes the eggs with the help of the drone bees. Without her eggs there would be no life in the hive. The worker bees decide who gets to be the queen by feeding any female larvae younger than 48 hours old special Royal Jelly.

But bees are in trouble! 

Bees are dying all over the world from something called Colony Collapse Disorder.  They are dying in huge numbers and now farmers sometimes have to pay for bees to be shipped in on trucks to pollinate their crops.  Some of the things that are harming bees are:

• Pesticides used on farms
• Global warming
• Development of houses and cities cause the bees to lose their homes
• Parasites like some types of mites

How can YOU help?

Have a garden! It doesn’t matter how small it is, just make sure to plant flowers! But be careful around bees! Don’t try to hold or touch them. Bees can sting! Only professional beekeepers can get this close to them and they use special clothes to do that. But don’t worry, having flowers on your garden is not dangerous. These guys at Bumblebee Conservation Trust are worried about bees and teach you which flowers are bee-friendly for you to have in your garden: CLICK HERE check it out!

Sarah has more ideas:

• Eat organic food.  This supports farmers that don’t use pesticides
• Don’t use poisons to kill weeds at your home garden
• Grow flowers that will attract bees
• Buy local, raw honey that isn’t made with chemicals
• Put a little container of water outside your home for bees to drink from.  They get thirsty!

 

Do you want to learn more about bees?
Click HERE and HERE!
Sarah says she learned a lot about bees from going to see a movie called Queen Of The Sun.  Maybe you could watch it too or your school could show it! queenofthesun.com

 

ISF Kids Team, Cassia and Mobstir Sarah

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