Most people know that bees help out Mother Nature and mankind by pollinating the plants and flowers that are integral to the cycle of life. But how does beekeeping come into play, and is beekeeping good for the environment?
Beekeeping does several things that contribute positively to the environment. Beekeeping promotes pollination, provides food for predators, and helps to maintain nature’s balance. Bees are an important part of the life cycle and without them pollinating the crops that both people and animals consume, there would be food shortages and hunger.
Beekeeping does a lot of good for the environment- keep reading to find out more!
Bees and the Environment
Bees are great for the ecosystem; but what about beekeeping? There are several significant ways that beekeeping helps the environment- and the bees- including the following:
- Beekeeping promotes pollination.
Bees are vital to agriculture and crops that sustain many different species of animals- including humans. Animals in the wild that rely on wild plants, or plant eaters to survive, would not find enough to eat. Beekeeping helps restore honeybee populations to be pollinators.
- Beekeeping provides food for predators.
Bees are a food source for many carnivorous species in nature. These animals would need to resort to other food sources- which may impact other species, subsequently.
- Beekeeping helps to maintain nature’s balance.
By keeping bees, beekeeping enthusiasts are helping to protect and preserve the bee population. This helps to maintain a sense of order and balance in nature, as the bee is an important part of the life cycle broadly.
The Great Pollinators
While there are other species that pollinate plants or flowers, bees are notoriously known as the great pollinators. They are remarkably adept at carrying pollen from one plant or flower to the next, providing what the plant needs to reproduce and prosper.
Pollination is imperative to maintaining plant life and agriculture– which is how people and animals sustain themselves.
Bees can take credit for the largest share of pollination across the globe; therefore, it is critical to protect and preserve the bee population. Beekeeping helps by protecting and caring for the needs of a particular hive or apiary.
Food for Predators
When talking about the circle of life, you must realize that some species serve as little more than a food source to a specific animal. That is, bees are food- and prey- for predators. But who would want to hurt or eat a harmless bee? It may surprise you to know that bees are a food source for several species, including the following predators:
- Other insects, like wasps, hornets, robber flies, dragonflies, and the praying mantis.
- Arachnids, including fishing spiders, lynx spiders, goldenrod spiders, and other types of spiders.
- Reptiles and Amphibians, such as anole lizards, American toads, and other varieties of bullfrogs and frogs.
- Birds, like hummingbirds, tiring flycatchers, summer Tanager’s, grackles, and several others.
- Mammals, including bears, opossums, raccoons, honey badgers, and skunks.
So while protecting the bee from predators may seem like the kind thing to do, it also can impact other species as those that prey upon bees struggle to find food.
The natural chain becomes disrupted, which, in turn, affects the overall circle of life. There can be a delicate balance between protecting vulnerable populations and interfering with the natural order, in which some species prey on bees.
Balance in Nature
The previous brings us to this: beekeeping preserves balance in nature. Tending hives, caring for an apiary, and beekeeping, in general, helps maintain balance by ensuring that bees do not become endangered or extinct.
There are some regions of the world where there are no wild bees- in these countries, it is essential that humans intervene and keep, tend, and care for bees.
While Mother Nature is often the great equalizer, protecting populations of vulnerable bees helps ensure that they do not become endangered.
For those that live in urban areas, keeping bees is a way to get back in touch with nature. This hobby can help you feel calmer, more balanced, and happier- like gardening. It is good for the urban landscape as well as the mental well-being of those that participate.
Why is beekeeping important?
Beekeeping is helping to restore the population of honeybees around the world.
Honeybees are critically important to agriculture and the food supply; without these pollinators, crops would die, and many people and animals would be hungry.
Do Carpenter Bees pollinate and make honey?
There are around 500 different species of Carpenter Bees– all which pollinate plants and flowers. Carpenter bees do not make honey, however.
Carpenter Bees are often labelled as pests due to the damage that they can wreak on wood surfaces and structures.
Is beekeeping good or bad for bees?
Beekeepers play a vital role in caring for bees, as well as in protecting the hives from diseases or predators that could cause untimely death.
By pursuing beekeeping, hobbyists and enthusiasts make the effort to care for and replenish the population of bees across the globe- which is a good thing for bees!
Is beekeeping sustainable?
The issue of sustainability is why it is integral for beekeepers to use best and prudent practices when tending their hives. It is more sustainable for bees to live and grow in nature, without the stress of being handled by keepers or forced to make new hives.
However, many keepers have put the focus on the bee- rather than the honey- and been able to restore bee populations widely. It is a complex and multi-layer issue.
As you can see, beekeeping does help the environment- if the beekeeper takes care to use thoughtful and good practices when tending their apiary.
Bees are an integral component of the circle of life- without them, food sources would dry-up and many would go hungry. Whether you are a beekeeper or not, always be kind to bees.