Want to live a healthy life? Then save the honeybees! Okay, this may sound strange, but let me explain. These days, being healthy is often synonymous with the food we eat, our diet habits and what is right for our bodies to feel good and be happy. What is often overlooked is that we are part of the ecosystem we live in. As human beings ‘we have placed ourselves above nature’, but we are part of it. The introduction and constant increase of chemical usage in the last decades have led to a tragic collapse of one of the underappreciated doyens of our environment: the honeybees.
Honeybees are integral to the survival of our ecosystem, and thereby to the maintenance of health within our human race. To some, this may seem like an outrageously dramatic claim. So I’m here to tell you a little bit about the health benefits that bees provide, and why we should be protecting these wonderful pollinators.
Honeybees pollinate plants
According to the American Plant Collections Network (PCN) bees pollinate 80 percent of the flowering plants and 75 percent of the fruits, nuts, and vegetables grown in the United States. Many of our food crops, including apples, avocados, cucumber and more, are pollinated by honeybees. How? Well, bees feed on pollen and nectar produced by flowers and plants. They store some of this pollen in pollen baskets, or on hairs of their body. As bees move from flower to flower, they act as little transporters, transferring pollen from one crop to another, resulting in cross pollination.
Almonds are a great example to show the importance of bees in our food supply. As almond trees will set fruit only if their flowers are cross-pollinated between two different varieties. This necessity is shared by over 100 different drops. In simple terms, that means that bees are responsible for most of the fresh, healthy food we eat everyday!
Unfortunately, the bee population has been steadily declining due to a phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder. Colony Collapse Disorder has now become quite common, and occurs due to many reasons. Some of these include the pesticide poisoning, changing the bee’s foraging habitat, and the lack of adequate nutrition for bees.
The byproduct that bees produce – that delicious sticky substance we call honey – is one of the best natural medicines. Honey is used as health aid in many cultures, and has ample advantages. It is both anti-bacterial and anti-microbial. Honey is known to aid weight-loss, improve eyesight and settle nausea. For those of you feeling a little tired, honey acts as great energy drink, and can be used to supplement your workout.
A centuries old cure for a throat ache is warm water and honey, with honey actively helping to cure a cough. I could go on, but take it from me when I say in terms of health, honey is pretty much liquid gold.
We as a race are notorious for ignoring the impact of our actions on the environment. In terms of bees however, the consequences will be dire unless we actively try to protect these pollinators. As these creatures are responsible for providing us with nutritious, fresh crops to eat, it is only fair that we too, try our best to sustain the bee population. For all that they do for us, it is our duty to ensure the honeybees’ well-being.