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5 Facts Worth Knowing About Bees

Believe it or not bees are a huge part of our everyday life! Here are 5 facts that you should know about bees.

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1. World Class Pollinators

(Photograph ©2007 John Kimbler.) / Via nrdc.org

Many organisms help with pollination such as birds, bats, small mammals, and other insects, but none compare to the Honey bee. Estimations from the National Resources Defense Council show that honey bees account for nearly 30% of the commercial crop pollination world wide. If that wasn't enough they are also responsible for around 90% of the wild plant pollination.

2. Economical Power Houses

notsellingthefarm.wordpress.com / Via abfnet.org

If it weren't for the bees many of the countries crops wouldn't be viable. The American Beekeeping Federation states that honey bees alone rack in almost $20 billion dollars a year towards the United States crop production. Almonds in the U.S. are entirely dependent on the honey bees for production. Almonds in California alone require as many as 1.8 million colonies for every one million acres of trees.

3. Non-Native

pinterest.com / Via topics.blogs.nytimes.com blog.nwf.org

Did you know honey bees aren't native to the U.S.? They originally come from South-West Asia. Honey bees made their way across the continent to Europe where they were then introduced to the U.S. during the 17th century by European immigrants along with a vast knowledge of beekeeping.

4. Native Bee Populations Are On The Decline

seeker.com / Via iucnredlist.org

Bees have made American history this year, but not in a positive way. On march 21st 2017 the first species of bee (Rusty Patch Bumble Bee) was added to the endangered species list. Native to the United states and parts of Canada, the Rusty patch bumble bee population has been on the decline since the 90's. According to the IUCN Red list of endangered species, their populations have fallen close to 95% of what they use to be. On top of that the Bees historic range has decreased close to 87%.

5. Humans Are Responsible For The Decline In Bee Populations

betazair.com / Via iucnredlist.org

The decline in bee population can be traced back to humans. We use pesticides for both commercial and private use which poisons the surrounding bees whether we intend to or not. Habitat loss and degradation from agriculture and development plays a role in the populations decline, with no place for the bees to live/reproduce their populations plummet. Another large factor that contributes to the loss of native bees is the exchange of parasites from the domestic honey bee to the Native bee population. Entire colonies can be wiped out from these parasites alone. Finally climate change has arguably the largest impact on the bee population. The influx of extreme temperatures, droughts, floods, early frost, and late winters are all factors which can cause bees to be more susceptible to disease, decrease their resources, and lose nesting sites.

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