Vital Pollinators: The honey and bumble bee

Bees are the new ‘big topic’ in the gardening world. What would we do without them? What would we eat? How would we get honey?

We live on a planet pollinated primarily by bees. Bees pollinate most of our favorite flowers and one third of the plants we eat.

some people out there who haven’t heard about Colony Collapse Disorder destroying hives around the world. Some may still consider a bee an insect to fear or to kill.

To answer the question of what would we eat if honey bees disappeared, the only items left to us would be grains and cereal. Corn and cereal grains are pollinated by wind. That is why the corn seed package will say to plant your corn in a block, not a single long row.

Only honey bees make honey, a product that doesn’t spoil (it has been found in the pyramids in Egypt).

Honey bees are social-they have a hive, a queen, workers and drones-all with specific tasks. Bumblebees are also social and live in a group. With our landscaped lawns and non-native shrubs as landscaping, they may find it difficult to find shelter or food.

Bumblebees are important pollinators of tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, melons, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, and many other crops. They are the only known pollinators of potatoes worldwide.

Without these essential insects, farm productivity would plummet and some wildflowers would become extinct. In short, bumblebees and other bees are essential for our own well being and the survival of a good deal of the world’s biodiversity.