The US Department of Agriculture reports that hundreds of millions of dollars are made and spent each year on honey, making it a lucrative market in this country. Since a bee only produces around 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime, how many bees must there be to keep up with the demand for honey and honey-related products, and how many bees are there in the world entirely?
It is estimated that there are around two trillion bees in the world, and up to possibly 20,000 different bee species. There are nearly 5,000 bee species in the USA alone- and the US and Europe have the largest bee populations globally.
Want to learn more about bees and their population? Keep reading!
The Bee Population
It would be difficult- if not impossible- to specifically estimate the number of bees left in the world. They are a vulnerable species whose numbers fluctuate regularly due to changes in climate, predators, and human beings. Humans that use chemicals in their yard or garden could be unknowingly killing bees.
Remember, too, that a bee’s life span is only a couple of months long. This further complicates the issue of trying to figure out exactly how many bees are left.
If you believe what the experts say, there are around two trillion bees in the world, with around 4,000 different kinds of native bees in the United States alone.
Europe and the US are both considered to be the most bee populated regions globally- and with a large number of bee species not yet identified by professionals, many believe there could be around 100 trillion bees in the world.
More About Bees
That seems like a lot of bees, but keep in mind that a single hive may be home to upwards of 60,000 bees! Certainly, not all hives are home to that many bees and geographical location, climate, and other factors can impact how populated a hive, community, or nation will be with these pollinators.
How big is the hive? This is another aspect to consider. Bees are resilient little creatures and can live practically anywhere. While they do not like cold and winter weather can kill bees, you will find bees in any climate, from the sweltering hot Amazon rainforest to regions near the Arctic Circle.
Importance of Bees
When talking about droves of bees, it is easy to forget the very-important, life-saving work that they do. First of all, bees pollinate flowers and plants so that crops thrive and agriculture prospers.
Humans eat many of these crops- but more importantly, so do the animals that are a big part of the human diet.
Bees forage for nectar, which is then turned into honey in the hive. All of the bees cooperate and collaborate to accomplish this task, all while protecting their queen- further proof that minuscule beings can have a huge impact when they work together.
Ways to Attract Bees
The best thing that humans can do to attract and help bees is to stop using insecticides or pesticides on the property. This can kill bees and compromise an entire colony of these pollinators- and likely others like butterflies and birds, too.
Second, consider planting a garden with bees in mind. That is, plant some things that bees are attracted to, can see, and may forage for nectar.
Remember that bees see yellow and blue the best, so use colorful flowers in these shades to appeal and attract bees. Bees are also drawn to flowers and plants with strong smells- even if you don’t think they smell pleasant. An example of this is the easy-to-grow Marigold.
Marigolds attract bees, especially the bright yellow variations, and the scent helps bees find them. Marigolds have a slightly off-putting scent that also serves to repel mosquitoes but it makes it easier for bees to find them.
Try planting things that garner the most reward for the bees. Some plants that return a high-nectar yield for bees foraging include these:
- Black Eyed Susan
Poppies are considered to be the flower that offers the highest return when it comes to nectar. Try planting a few in your yard for the pollinators!
Always be nice to bees. They are good for the environment- and you, too!
While bees are not usually out during cold weather or wintry conditions, if you see one, stay out of its way. It likely has an important reason to be away from the hive- and bees can be aggressive and attack in winter.
It is reported by experts that bee stings are much worse and more painful during winter than during warmer seasons.
Threats to Bees
So, what is it that poses the biggest threat to bees? Primarily, humans are the biggest problem with bees. The chemicals that human beings use in their yards and gardens kill bees and greatly affect the ecosystem.
Some other threats to bees include global warming, climate change, and extreme weather conditions. Bees do not do well in temperatures under 50 degrees Fahrenheit. In fact, they will perish in the cold.
Protect the Bees
Experts disagree regarding whether the number of bees in the world is shrinking. The potential predators and threats to bees do impact the bee population, but bees are very resilient creatures. Bee colonies are adept at recuperating, recovering, and resuming their work, day-in and day-out.
There are some things that humans can do to help bees, however. First, plant flowers and plants that bees use and enjoy, like sunflowers, poppies, marigolds, mint, lavender, and lilacs.
Also, watch your use of chemicals and pesticides near and on plants that could attract bees. Create a bee-friendly garden for bees to visit and forage pollen to make honey. It is part of the circle of life!
It is estimated that there are around two trillion bees in the world- since bees are so vital to human existence, this is good news.
Do your part and treat bees nicely. Without bees, food sources would dry up and people would go hungry- bees play a very important role.