World Bee Day is annually celebrated on May 20, and the buzz around their global importance this year is louder than ever. These little guys are of crucial importance to the environment, and their presence necessary for a healthy ecosystem. Due to climate change and unsustainable human practices such as the use of pesticides, intensive agriculture, and destruction of their natural habitats, bees are under the threat of extinction. Bees pollinate around a third of the foods that we consume, and without them, these delicious fruits and vegetable will quickly fall out of existence. Here are some of the top foods that rely on bees:
Your favourite healthy nut may go completely out of existence if bees don’t help in pollinating the crop. When the almond crop is pollinated sufficiently, the fruit they bear contains more vitamin E and is thus richer in nutrients. However, with the bee population dwindling, you may not have your favourite healthy snack around for too long. According to The Guardian, the almond industry and its relationship with bees is an unsustainable one, since natural bee behaviour has to be altered in order to accommodate large-scale production of the beloved nut.
If bees go out of existence, you can say goodbye to your favourite berry and all the goodness that comes from it. A properly pollinated strawberry plant will bear fruit that is a lot more flavourful. On average, a strawberry requires about 21 rounds of pollination from bees to allow it to grow into delicious fruit.
You’ll have to let go of your love of apple pie of bees can no longer cope with climate change and other threats to their existence any longer. Bees are important for a healthy and delicious crop of apples. On average, an apple crop should be visited by bees at least 5 times to ensure a ripe crop that is full of flavour and ready for harvesting.
Normally, the bees that pollinate the pumpkin plant nest on the ground. These little buzzers are necessary for a good crop of pumpkin, and if they do not pollinate well enough, the fruit will be tasteless and not fit for your pumpkin desserts. Bumblebees and squash bees are the most common pollinators for this plant, although honey bees may do the job just as well.
The perfect refresher for a hot summer day, the cucumber is the ultimate summer vegetable. However, bees are necessary for the proper cultivation of this vegetable, with fruit grown near beehives having up to a 40% increase in the final yield. That’s a lot more cucumbers to add to your summer salad!