Imagine, just for a moment, that the entirety of the world’s population of honey bees vanished overnight – you might be thinking that bees play such an insignificant role in your day to day life, even at times being a nuisance, that you probably would not notice their absence.
This may be true, but only for a short while. The bee’s impact stretches far beyond the honey aisle at the grocery store. You will start to notice that your favorite fruits and vegetables have become less accessible and incredibly overpriced, before disappearing altogether. The same would go for a variety of nuts, including almonds – whose production relies 100% on honey bee pollination at the first bloom – thus trickling down to our beloved almond milk. The reality is that honey bees contribute to a lot more than you would think, and it is undeniable that without their aid, our world would drastically change.
But what exactly are bees doing? What is pollination?
Well, to simply put it, pollination is the act of moving pollen from the female parts of the flower, to the male parts. Honey bees actually do this by accident; as they collect nectar and pollen for their own food source, they travel from flower to flower, picking up and transferring the pollen from one to another – this is also known as cross-pollinating. And, like us, bees enjoy variety. A field or garden with a diverse array of plants to feed off of contributes directly to a healthier bee colony. Healthy bees are the key to helping create higher yields and a more quality product.
It is important to note that honey bees are only one type of wild bee, belonging to a family of nearly 20,000 different species. All of which play a major part in pollinating plants all over the world and contributing to approximately 85 percent of all crop production, along with other pollinators like butterflies, birds, and beetles. Though, over the last thirty years, bees have been hit the hardest by large-scale agriculture and urbanization. Between monocrop farming and increased pesticide use, bee populations have dramatically decreased.
This trend has not gone unnoticed, and continued efforts from environmentalists, farmers, and beekeepers have brought this issue to the publics’ attention and people are taking action to save the bees. From educating farmers and encouraging them to plant more cover crops and pollinators, to lobbying for major retailers to stop the sale of bee-killing pesticides.
The best part is that you do not have to be an environmentalist to help the bees – simply by planting a variety of pollinators around your house or garden will play a big part. A few we would recommend planting are Basket of Gold, strawberries, and even dandelions!
As for Serendipity Catering, we feel it is important for us to do our part as well – our own urban garden fosters a wide variety of flowering fruits and veggies, acting as perfect pollinators for our bee friends, and furthermore every year, we adopt our own beehive with Frangiosa Farms out of Parker, CO! The hive is a part of a vast network of bees pollinating the surrounding areas and creating the sweet, local raw honey!