Save the Bees, save the world: Part II

We've all seen a movie about the future that shows a picture of a desolate world. That world is usually dark, dusty and barren.

In "The Matrix," the real world has almost no natural light. Everything is rocky, and there is not a flower to be seen. "The Book of Eli" shows a world like a giant desert, with no plant-life for miles.

No one wants a world like these. We love our sunny, flower gardens and the prairie areas along roadways. We want parks with beautiful open spaces to walk through. We enjoy vacationing in places with eye candy.

One way to protect against that is to save our bees.

Last week, we discussed the importance of bees to human food. This week, we'll look at a simple topic --- how bees help make the world beautiful.

Bees are said to be responsible for pollinating about one-sixth of the flower plant species worldwide. As they forage for food, pollen is collected in either the pollen sacs of honeybees or bumble bees or clings to the hairs on solitary bee species. When they move to the next flower, that pollen --- collected from the male part of the first flower --- is deposited on the female part of that second flower. That allows a seed to be formed, which allows that flowering plant to reproduce.

Some plants can pollinate through the wind. Some can pollinate thanks to butterflies, birds or bats. Many utilize bees, and some absolutely need bees.

Take the snapdragon for instance. These flowers have a type of landing platform petal, and only bees of the right size and weight can trigger them to open. That means, without the certain right type of bee, these flowers would not be able to be pollinated.

If you want to look outside and see a beautiful landscape of grasses and flowers, you need bees. If you want to grow a garden or plant flowers around your house, you need bees. If you want to go for a drive and pass by more than rocky, sandy hills, you need bees.

Save the bees, and we'll save the beauty of the world.

(Five plants to start your pollinator garden.)


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