Save the Bees, Save the World

bees on hive

Save the bees, save the world.

That seems like quite a stretch, but really, bees do so much more than people think.

As our bee populations slowly decrease thanks to disease, loss of habitat, pesticide use and more, the nation and the world are starting to see the ramifications of these little insects.

In the next few weeks, let's explore a little bit about why bees are so important.

First on the docket, food. Bees provide the world with more than just honey. In fact, some of your favorite foods and some of the most valuable foods in the nation are reliant on different kinds of bees to pollinate them.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released these statistics of what percent of different crops relied on honeybee pollination:

Soybeans: 50 percent

Alfalfa: 60 percent

Cotton: 60 percent

Almonds: 100 percent

Apples: 90 percent

Oranges: 90 percent

Peaches: 80 percent

Cherries, sweet: 90 percent

Grapefruit: 90 percent

Tangerines: 90 percent

As honeybees buzz around looking for pollen and nectar, pollen sticks to their furry bodies and transfers from flower to flower in our flowering crops, providing an imperative service as they go.

Honeybees pollinate 80 percent of flowering crops, including one-third of everything that you and I eat. Plus, native bees and bumble bees do their share of pollinating, so imagine the overall impact of bees.

It's not just whole fruits and vegetables that we would be missing if our honeybees die out. Imagine life without pizza --- a lack of grain for cows means a lack of milk means no cheese; a lack of tomatoes means no tomato sauce; a lack of grain also means no pizza crust.

If life without honeybees means life without pizza, that's just not a life most of us would want to live.

(Pollinated foods A-Z)