Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Pros and Cons of the Existence of Bees

I have always wondered why honey bees are a valued asset to the ecosystem. After researching, it was found that bees are the most important pollinators of food crops. It is estimated that one third of the food that we consume each day relies on pollination mainly by bees. The following are just some of the crops that they pollinate: avocados, soybeans, asparagus, broccoli, celery, squash, and sunflowers for oil, cucumbers, citrus fruit, peaches, kiwis, cherries, cranberries, melons cotton and flax. As stated in one of the articles, even if they do not pollinate a crop directly, the crop still benefits indirectly from being in an environment in which honey bees are working, due to the increased biodiversity in the area which stimulates the crop.

Honey bees are important to the world because of their 2 main contributions: Pollination and bee products. Pollination is the process by which pollen is transferred in plants, thereby enabling fertilization and sexual reproduction. Bees are responsible for a wide variety of wild flowers and many crops depend on them. Secondly, the health of humans is greatly enhanced by the use of bee products. The following are some of the products humans use daily that contain bee products in them: honey, beeswax, propolis, royal jelly and venom.

Although there are many pros of having the honey bee, there are also some cons. It is belived that if the honey bee continues to pollinate, there is a possibility that it could introduce new diseases, which has happened. It is also believed that honey bees hurt the environment. They are not native to North America and were believed to be imported from Euroope in 1638. These bees have taken of much of the habitat from native bees, thus putting a strain/ altering the function of the ecosystem.

Despite there being pros and cons to the existence of the honey bee, I believe that the bee is an important component of the ecosystem and and humans, as a part of the ecosystem, benefit greatly from bees' efforts.

To learn more information about the pros and cons of they honey bee, please read the following articles:

posted by Christine Ikekwere at 11:18pm

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