Why are bees important?
Information technology has oft been said that bees are responsible for one out of every three bites of food we eat. Nearly crops grown for their fruits (including vegetables such as squash, cucumber, tomato and eggplant), nuts, seeds, fiber (such every bit cotton), and hay (alfalfa grown to feed livestock), require pollination by insects. Pollinating insects also play a critical role in maintaining natural plant communities and ensuring production of seeds in well-nigh flowering plants. Pollination is the transfer of pollen from the male person parts of a flower to the female person parts of a flower of the same species, which results in fertilization of plant ovaries and the production of seeds. The chief insect pollinators, by far, are bees, and while European honey bees are the best known and widely managed pollinators, there are also hundreds of other species of bees, mostly solitary ground nesting species, that contribute some level of pollination services to crops and are very important in natural plant communities.
Watch this webinar on smart gardening for bees.
Why are bees good pollinators?
Bees make splendid pollinators because nearly of their life is spent collecting pollen, a source of protein that they feed to their developing offspring. When a bee lands on a flower, the hairs all over the bees’ body attract pollen grains through electrostatic forces. Stiff hairs on their legs enable them to groom the pollen into specialized brushes or pockets on their legs or body, and and then deport it dorsum to their nest. Individual bees tend to focus on one kind of flower at a time, which means information technology is more probable that pollen from one flower volition be transferred to another flower of the aforementioned species by a detail bee. Many plants crave this kind of pollen distribution, known every bit cross-pollination, in order to produce viable seeds. The business concern of collecting pollen requires a lot of energy, and then many flowers attract and besides reward bees with nectar, a mixture of h2o and sugars produced by plants.
Where and how do bees live?
About bee species dig nests in soil, while others utilize plants, either by boring holes in pithy plant stems or wood, or past nesting in galleries fabricated by wood-ho-hum beetles in trees or other preexisting cavities. Bumble bees are known to nest in abandoned rodent burrows and feral honey bees are known to nest in tree hollows. Bees use a diverseness of materials to build their nests. Most bees line their nest cells with a waxy textile they produce themselves, but others use pieces of leaves, small pebbles mixed with resin from tree sap, or mud to grade the cells in which they lay their eggs.
Why do bees need flowers throughout the growing flavor?
Many bee species are solitary (each female produces offspring in her ain nest) with only i generation of bees produced per year. Nevertheless, other species nest communally (several females share a nest) or have elaborate social structures with partitioning of labor within the colony (unremarkably with a unmarried queen and many workers). These kinds of bees produce multiple generations per year. This means that bees that produce multiple generations each year need food resources (pollen and nectar) across most of the growing season to produce potent colonies. Providing plants in a landscape with overlapping bloom periods will help these bees survive and prosper. View our information most selecting plants for overlapping flower and appeal to pollinators.
Bees demand our aid!
Bee communities, both wild and managed, have been declining over the last half century equally pesticide use in agricultural and urban areas increased. Changes in land use have resulted in a patchy distribution of nutrient and nesting resource. Concerned bee researchers recently met to discuss the current pollinator condition in North America and to publish a report about it. Since January (2007), there have been a number of reports in the media about the mysterious disappearance of large numbers of honey bees called colony collapse disorder. This has many growers concerned almost how they will continue to exist able to pollinate their crops. Now more than ever, information technology is critical to consider practices that will benefit pollinators by providing habitats free of pesticides, full of nectar and pollen resources, and with ample potential nesting resources.