Posted by: buzzybeegirl | March 9, 2009

Why are bees important?

Some readers have brought up some good questions that I had forgotten to address in my last post. Goodbear had asked what the importance of the bee condos are…I know she knows the answer, but others may not know why. So here it is.

Do you like to eat (models need not answer)?

I am a big food fan. I love it. All sorts of food. Vegetables, fruits, nuts, meats. Well, if I want to keep food coming my way I need to support the bees. Many of the worlds major crops that require pollination to reproduce, use bees. They mainly use honeybees because it is easy to get thousands of them at once. But, many crops are also pollinated by native bees. About 35% of the world crops depend upon bees for pollination. Many fruits and nuts are bee pollinated, by both honeybees and native bees. Alfalfa, which is fed to cattle, also requires bee pollination. They only use native bees for this. Right now, the Almonds are just finishing up. At California’s almond orchards (which I think are the largest in the world), hundreds of thousands of bees were busy buzzing around the orchard to pollinate the almond flowers. These bees will begin moving eastward to pollinate other types of fruits and nuts.

As for the wild bees that you see flying around your house. What may they do for you? Well, those plants or tress that surround your landscape may need pollinators. And they do the job. For free!!! Anything free during a recession is good, right.

Native bee pollinating a citrus bloom

Native bee pollinating a citrus bloom

About 85% of ALL flowering plants require animal pollinators to reproduce. Bees are the largest and usually the best pollinators. So many plants rely on them. I rely on them to pollinate the flowers in my front yard, and to pollinate my citrus trees when they bloom.

megachilid_citrus2

So, putting up the bee condo can help the bees by giving them more places to nest and make more bees.

The second question was whether the bees can be near loud noises and if they will become aggressive or mad.

Not these bees. The bee condos will ONLY attract solitary (they live alone…one female per nest) bees. They are non aggressive. You can mow, yell at the box, stare at them with an otoscope and they just don’t care. That is what I love about them. You can watch them leave their nest or come back and they will not bother you. They will sting you if you grab them, but hey, your grabbing them. You would deserve it. Mow all you want, your dogs can bark. They won’t hurt you.

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Responses

  1. Every spring we get huge numbers of bees in our lavender plants and we’ve never gotten stung. I have gotten head-butted by bees a few times while mowing the lawn but when that happens I know enough to leave and come back later …

  2. Very smart. You at least know the warning. They really have a thing for mowers. Maybe it’s similar to dogs with vacuums.

  3. Thanks for allaying my fear about mowing and being stung. It is a critical issue for me.

  4. I recently wrote a post on almonds and the effect of their production on bee populations. Almond production puts undue stress on bees to pollinate almond trees within a twenty day period.

    Thanks for this thoughtful post on the reality of bees.


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