Why Are Bees Important? A Recognition of Their Role in Our World

Fancied Facts
7 min readMay 16, 2024


Graceful and brave Bees | By Fancied Facts

Bees play a pivotal role in pollination, a process vital for the reproduction of many plants and for producing the fruits, vegetables, and seeds we rely on for our food supply. Understanding why bees are important extends beyond just their contribution to food; it encompasses their role in supporting biodiversity, which is crucial for global food security and environmental health.

Let‘s delve into the numerous ways bees contribute to agriculture, their significant impact on traditional medicine, the health benefits they offer, and why bee conservation is essential for sustaining human life and the health of our planet.

BEES one of the most important creatures on for people | By fancied Facts

Pollination: The Critical Role of Bees in Agriculture

How Bees Contribute to the Pollination of Crops

Bees, including honey bees, native species, and other pollinating insects, are indispensable to our food supply, playing a pivotal role in pollinating a vast array of fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Remarkably, 70% of plants would fail to reproduce or provide food without these pollinators. Specifically, bees are responsible for pollinating 71 out of the 100 crop varieties that constitute 90% of the world’s food. In North America alone, honey bees facilitate the pollination of nearly 95 different kinds of fruits, such as almonds, avocados, and apples, along with essential commodity crops like soy.

Impact on Food Security and Variety

The significance of bees extends beyond pollination to encompass food security and the diversity of our diets. The United Nations Environment Programme estimates the global value of pollination services at over $125 billion annually, with the U.S. benefiting from $20–30 billion in pollination services each year. This underscores the direct link between pollinator populations’ health and our food supply’s security. Alarmingly, the number of managed honey bee colonies in the U.S. has dramatically declined, dropping from about 6 million in 1947 to less than 2.5 million today, which seriously threatens our ability to meet the pollination demands for various crops.

Case Studies: Almonds, Blueberries, and Cherries

Almonds are a prime example of bees’ critical role in agriculture. Every year, over 31 billion honeybees converge on California’s almond orchards to pollinate more than 800,000 acres of almond trees. This massive pollination effort is essential for producing nuts, as each almond grows from a successfully pollinated flower. The process is so intensive that it requires billions of bee visits to millions of flowers, highlighting the indispensable role of bees in almond production.

Similarly, blueberries and cherries benefit immensely from bee pollination. Bees, including bumble bees and Southeastern blueberry bees, are crucial for pollinating blueberries, with recommendations suggesting 1 to 4 bees per bush to optimize pollination and yield. This direct relationship between bee pollination and crop yield is evident across various fruits, demonstrating the essential role of bees in ensuring the production of many foods that are staples in our diets.

In summery, bees are fundamental to the pollination of crops, significantly impacting food security and the variety of foods available to us. Their decline seriously threatens agricultural production and global food security, underscoring the urgent need for concerted efforts to protect and preserve bee populations and habitats.

Photo by Dmitry Grigoriev on Unsplash

Beyond Pollination: Products Derived from Bees

Honey, Beeswax, and their uses in human life

Honey is not just a sweetener; it’s a multifaceted product with about 320 varieties, each with unique characteristics. It’s composed mainly of sugar but also contains amino acids, vitamins, minerals, iron, zinc, and antioxidants, making it beneficial beyond its taste. Honey is used in various forms, from treating coughs and burns to acting as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial agent. On the other hand, Beeswax is derived from honeycomb and is utilized in foods, beverages, cosmetics, and medicinal applications to lower cholesterol, prevent infections, and protect the stomach from ulcers. Both honey and Beeswax play significant roles in our diets, health, and even in manufacturing products we use daily.

Medicinal properties of honey

Honey’s medicinal benefits are vast and well-documented, showcasing its ability to inhibit around 60 species of bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Its antioxidant capacity is crucial in combating various diseases, and it has been used to treat gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, inflammatory, and neoplastic states. Honey also promotes wound healing, stimulates tissue regeneration, and reduces inflammation. Furthermore, it has been found to have antiviral, antifungal, and even antineoplastic activities, demonstrating its broad spectrum of therapeutic applications.

Cultural significance of bee products

Bee products have been integral to various cultures for thousands of years, serving not just as food and medicine but also playing roles in crafts, beliefs, and religious practices. In some communities, honey is mixed with ingredients like lemon juice and ginger, forming part of traditional medicine to treat ailments ranging from the common cold to gastritis. Additionally, honey has been used as a massage oil for pain relief, and in religious activities, it is offered to deities to fulfill wishes and desires. This highlights the deep-rooted cultural significance of honey and other bee products across different societies.

Photo by Boba Jaglicic on Unsplash

The Current State of Bee Populations

Challenges Facing Bees: Habitat Loss, Pesticides, Climate Change

Bees are facing significant threats from habitat loss, intensive agricultural practices, and climate change. Urbanization and the expansion of agricultural land have led to the destruction of natural habitats crucial for the survival of bees. This habitat destruction is exacerbated by the widespread use of harmful pesticides, which can impair bees’ navigational abilities, disrupt their gut health, and increase their susceptibility to diseases. Additionally, climate change has led to increased temperatures and more severe weather events, which further threaten bee populations by destroying habitats and altering the availability of food sources.

The Decline in Bee Populations Globally

Globally, bee populations are in decline, with significant losses reported in both managed honey bee colonies and wild bee species. This decline is documented worldwide, with some regions having more substantial historical data showing a decrease in bee species richness, frequency, and distribution. In the United States, beekeepers have reported annual losses of about 30% of their colonies since 2006, with similar trends observed in Europe. The decline in bee populations is a complex issue influenced by multiple factors, including diseases, parasites, pesticides, and habitat loss.

Implications of Declining Bee Populations for Global Agriculture and Ecosystems

The decline in bee populations has profound implications for global agriculture and ecosystems. Bees and other pollinators are critical in pollinating about 75% of major food crops, translating to approximately one in every three bites of food we eat. The economic impact is also significant, with pollinators contributing an estimated $235 billion to $577 billion annually to global agriculture. The loss of bee populations threatens food security and the stability of ecosystems that depend on bees to pollinate numerous plant species.

How Can We Help Bees Thrive?

Creating Bee-Friendly Gardens and Spaces

Incorporating a variety of pollen and nectar-rich flowers in your garden is essential to foster safe habitats for bees. Opt for diverse plant types that bloom at different times to ensure a continuous food supply. Avoid pesticides and create natural shelters like tree cavities or bare soil patches for ground-nesting bees. Trees offer abundant nectar and serve as crucial habitats for nesting materials. Supporting local beekeepers by purchasing honey and beeswax products contributes significantly to bee conservation efforts.

Supporting Sustainable Farming Practices

Adopting sustainable agriculture practices plays a pivotal role in supporting bee populations. This includes integrating pest management to reduce pesticide use, planting cover crops, and maintaining habitat diversity through crop rotation and flowering hedgerows. Supporting and implementing regenerative agricultural practices can enhance soil health, increase biodiversity, and create beneficial bee habitats. Farmers can also participate in programs like the Environmental Quality Incentives Program to receive support for these initiatives.

Participating in and Supporting Conservation Efforts

Engagement in conservation efforts is crucial for bee survival. This can range from setting up bee conservatories in urban areas to participating in local and global conservation projects focusing on bee health and habitat creation. Donating to organizations that work towards bee conservation or hosting fundraisers can provide the necessary funds for research and habitat protection efforts. Educating oneself and others about the importance of bees and advocating for policies protecting bee habitats are also vital actions contributing to their preservation.


Addressing bees’ challenges and fostering environments where they can thrive are imperative steps toward safeguarding our future. By creating bee-friendly spaces, supporting sustainable farming, and engaging in conservation efforts, we can contribute to reversing the decline of bee populations. Bees’ wellness is irrevocably linked to our own, emphasizing the critical nature of their preservation for the continuity of life as we know it.


Why Are Bees Crucial to Our Planet?

Bees are integral to the planet’s biodiversity and essential for survival. They produce high-quality foods like honey, royal jelly, pollen, and other products, including Beeswax, propolis, and honey bee venom.

How Do Bees Contribute to Plant Reproduction?

Bees are key pollinators, transferring pollen between plants of different sexes or between different parts of the same plant. This process is vital for plant fertilization and reproduction and helps prevent inbreeding among plants.

What Does the Bee Symbolize?

Historically, bees symbolize focus, dedication, hard work, teamwork, generosity, prosperity, and fertility. Their significance spans various cultures and periods, reflecting their importance in society.

Are Bees Important to Humans and the Environment?

Yes, bees are crucial to both humans and the environment. Pollinators are critical for reproducing many food crops and wild plants. This, in turn, supports the environment and provides the basis for survival for both humans and wildlife.



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