Countless fruits, vegetables, and nuts rely on honeybee pollination to grow. Bees are essential to the health of the planet and our food chain. Honeybees are responsible for more than 35% of the foods we eat and pollinate more than 90 different crops. Every beehive has almost four thousand honey bees, divided to do various tasks. Some bees are builders, who build the hive, the drone bees go out to bring honey, and some take care of the queen bee’s eggs. There is only one queen bee per hive; her job is to lay eggs and grow the hive. Each bee has a different body type, allowing for easy identification of the workers, drones, and the queen.
Bees eat the flower’s pollen and sweet nectar. They collect this nectar in the beehive and the process of making honey starts. This honey-filled home of the bee is called a honeycomb. Since bees are tiny, many animals tend to hunt them. However, while they are small, they play one of the biggest roles in our ecosystem, being a pollinator for crops, which is vital to the food security of humans.
One of the largest threats to bees is a lack of safe habitat where they can build homes and find a variety of nutritious food sources. By planting a bee garden, you can create a habitat corridor with plants rich in pollen and nectar. You don’t need a ton of space to grow bee-friendly plants — gardens can be established across yards and in window boxes, flower pots, and planters.
Did you know that bees get most of their nectar from trees? When a tree blooms, it provides hundreds — if not thousands — of blossoms on which to feed. Trees are not only an excellent food source for bees but also an essential habitat. Tree leaves and resin provide nesting material for bees, while natural wood cavities make excellent shelters. With deforestation and development on the rise, you can help bolster bee habitats by caring for trees and joining tree-planting parties in your area.