Want a peek inside the hive? Here are five facts about bees around the world and how you can do your part to protect them.
1. There are nearly 20,000 known species of bees.
Bee-lieve it or not, there’s more to bees than the classic black and yellow honeybees you see in your backyard. Not all bees produce honey and they can actually vary quite a bit in color and size. For example, one species native to Florida is made up strictly of pollinator bees that can be bright green, blue, or even purple. Their color isn’t the only thing that changes: one bee species in Australia is less than 0.05 inches long, while another species in Indonesia reaches almost 1.5 inches!
2. The average honeybee only makes less than 1/10 of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime.
To make just one pound of honey, bee foragers must collect nectar from approximately 2 million flowers—and human demands are keeping them very busy. In 2019, individuals in the US consumed roughly 1.69 pounds of honey per person—approximately 554 million pounds total. We crunched the numbers to find that it took more than 354.5 billion bees their entire life to supply the US alone!
Source: American Bee Journal
3. Honeybees are responsible for approximately 80 percent of the world’s pollination.
In just a day, one bee colony can pollinate 300 million flowers—and flowers aren’t the only thing bees pollinate. In fact, bees pollinate around $15 billion worth of crops—including more than 130 types of fruits and vegetables—every year. Pollinators, many of which are domesticated honeybees, even provide one in every three bites of food we take.
Source: United States Department of Agriculture + GreenPeace
4. Global bee populations are declining at a rapid rate.
As climate patterns shift, the number of places bees can safely inhabit is decreasing. In North America alone, the number of areas inhabited by bumblebees has dropped 46%; in Europe, 17%. There is no one cause of bee decline, but some harmful factors include decreasing crop diversity, pesticides, pollution, and habitat loss.
Source: Washington Post + NPR
5. You can take action to help save bees.
When you buy local, seasonal, and organic foods, you lend a land in reducing the number of harmful pesticides used on crops. If you have a garden of your own, you can also help bees thrive by reducing your chemical use. Lastly, it’s important that we all do our part in knowing the facts about bees as well as supporting highly-vetted, community-led organizations working to save bees, promote proper beekeeping practices, and safeguard bee habitats.
Source: GlobalGiving + BBC
Learn more bee facts + support bees around the world by giving to local nonprofits!
Featured Photo: Saving the honeybee one beekeeper at a time! by Spikenard Farm Honeybee Sanctuary