Effect of Honey bees on agriculture and food production
Honey bees are a blessing in disguise. Although they are best known as dangerous pests that inflict a painful sting, little is known about the crucial role honey bees play in food production and agriculture. While we have already touched upon it here, in this article, however, I am going to delve into the finer details.
As we discussed earlier, plants reproduce because of pollination. Pollination is a process in which the pollen grains from the male anther of a flower are transferred to the female stigma, enabling fertilization and the production of seeds. Honey bees are the most efficient pollinators that pollinate approximately 80% of the flowering crops. It is estimated that, of the 100 agricultural food crops that contribute close to 90% of the world's food, Honey bees pollinate 70 of them. Examples include Watermelons, cantaloupe, citrus fruits, apples, almonds and cucumbers amongst many others that honey bees pollinate. Even though we know honey bees' value to our ecosystem, can we quantify it in numbers? It turns out we can.
In economic terms, it is reported that honey bees contribute between $235 to $577 Billion in annual global food production. Another stat reads that, of the $24 billion that pollinators contribute to the US economy, honey bees account for more than $15 Billion. All these numbers highlight the immense impact honey bees have on the production of the food that we eat. As the population increases, the need for quality food will increase and so will the need for pollinators increase. Therefore, it is incumbent on us to ensure that we safeguard, amongst others, the most efficient pollinator we have to feed our fellow beings.
About the author:
Vikram is passionate about a lot of things, ranging from writing, keyboard to philosophy and public speaking. Always looking for new adventures, he believes in continuous learning and feels that progress is always on the other side of fear.