Most people understand that honeybees are a part of our food cycle. We need pollination to make more plants to feed more animals. But most do not know just how vital honeybees are to humans and the rest of the planet. If honeybees disappeared tomorrow, food production would not just be more difficult; it might be entirely impossible. Furthermore, the importance of honeybees is evident in a great many other areas. From inspiring hobbyists to treating wounds, you can find the work of the honeybee anywhere you look.
Some of the food honeybees make themselves are also enjoyable products for humans, such as honey, royal jelly, and pollen. But these animals benefit the world the most through their pollination abilities. Most food on the planet is only possible because of the plants honeybees pollinate—nearly a third, even. Without the hard work of honeybees, human beings would have to find entirely different substitutions to pollinate their food.
All around the world, honeybees create the ideal conditions for ecological balance. When a honeybee lands on one flower to collect its nectar, pollen from the flower sticks to its legs. The pollen then transfers from their legs to a second plant when the honeybee lands on it, thereby fertilizing that plant. This is how honeybees help pollinate the world.
By pollinating a wide variety of foods, they inevitably are responsible for feeding thousands of different animals. These animals leave droppings and eventually die, fertilizing the ground and adding nutrients to those same plants, starting the process all over again. Since honeybees are such an integral part of the pollination of so many plants—and, by extension, the survival of the animals that eat those plants—they play an important role in maintaining plant life and wildlife diversity.
In only the last 50 years, crops that depend on pollination have tripled. These include fruits, seeds, oilseeds, nuts, and vegetables. This growth in agricultural production is possible in large part because of honeybees.
Farmers certainly understand the importance of honeybees. They build their entire lives around their crops and owe a debt of thanks to the creatures that pollinate them. Without honeybee pollination, every farmer’s source of income would dry up. Especially for smaller and family-owned farms in developing countries, honeybee pollination has created the conditions for more jobs and improved job security.
Though most people know them mostly for their own self-made habitats, honeybees play a pivotal role in the development of many other homes. Millions of insects and animals rely on their pollination to grow their homes, including savannahs, woodlands, and tropical forests. Whenever you see an animal living in a tree, burrowed within the foliage, or protected by plant life in any way, you know that that creature has honeybees to thank for their comfort.
Honeybee Venom Therapy
Honeybee venom therapy is under the “apitherapy umbrella,” meaning products that use honeybees for alternative medicine. The goal of honeybee venom treatment therapy is to improve immune responses and reduce inflammation by using essential ingredients in venom. Honeybee venom, also known as apitoxin, is odorless, colorless, and contains peptides, enzymes, amino acids, and volatile compounds.
Healthcare practitioners administer the treatment first by applying ice to the injection area to numb the sting site. The site depends on which spots meet the body’s meridians. Much like with acupuncture, the spots for the incisions are strategic.
The medical professional will hold the honeybee with long tweezers by its head or thorax and then apply it to the skin. The patient should let the stinger stay in for several minutes to get the full effects of the venom. A patient may receive up to a dozen doses of honeybee venom per session.
Beeswax Is Used for Many Products
Beeswax comes from a secretion out of a honeybee’s eight special glands in their abdomen. Honeybees use their legs to bring the wax from their abdomen to their mouths, where they chew on it, adding saliva to soften it up. It also picks up honey, propolis, and pollen during this process, which darkens its color.
Although honeybees use the material to build their hives, humans use beeswax for any number of products, including candles, skin protectants, and cosmetics. For all-natural products, beeswax is a common and popular feature. It can also function as a coating for cheese and sewing thread, a wood sealant, and a lubricant.
Propolis Has Medical Benefits
Propolis is a by-product created by honeybees. They use it to seal cracks or gaps in a hive. But for humans, it has its own medical purpose. Those in the medical field have used it to treat wounds and abscesses. Its ability to protect wounds against intruders like microbes and fungi makes it a great defense against infection.
The Joys of Beekeeping
For thousands of years, beekeeping has been an invaluable hobby for many people. Relatively inexpensive, not very time-consuming, and very relaxing, beekeeping is how some people remain connected to nature. When a beekeeper is suited up in their gear and spending time with their hives, you can bet they are in their happy place. They feel lucky that their honeybees offer them moments of peace and solitude.
Pollen Gives Us Vitamins
Humans can actually extract and consume the pollen made by honeybees. Honeybee pollen provides several health benefits, including vitamins that are necessary for humans. It also contains antioxidants and minerals that may protect against free radicals, potentially preventing cancer and other serious diseases.
When you buy raw honey, you are looking at the finished product of some of the hardest workers on the planet. But their real achievement is not just the sweet treat they produce. Their real achievements are in the forests they pollinate, the medical treatments they advance, and the mounds and mounds of food they bring to the world.
Honeybees are one of the most important and fascinating creatures on the planet. As human beings, we have a responsibility to protect and cultivate the best of what earth has to offer. It is our job to watch out for honeybees and the environment they helped build. Honeybees only want to be left to do their work. By protecting their spaces and creating more hives, we can strive to show them the respect they deserve. Especially as climate change brings on alterations to our everyday environment, we must look out for these vulnerable and vital creatures.