By: Nicole Banks
We are hearing more and more about saving the bees. There’s even a hashtag now, #savethebees. Why is the lowly bee so important and why is there a campaign to save this particular insect?
Plants rely on pollination. This dependence isn’t only for your prize winning tomatoes but for fruits, veggies, flowers and nearly 90 percent of wild flowering plants need pollination. The bee isn’t the only pollinator but they play an important function in the sexual reproduction of plants.
Pollinators play a large part of any ecosystem.
The wild flowering plants are crucial, important parts of ecosystems spanning the globe. They provide lots of resources including: food, habitat, camouflage, symbiotic relationships and are critical parts of the ecosystem.
Pollinators consequently play a key role in regulating ecosystem services supporting food production, habitats and natural resources. Building habitat by growing pollinator friendly plants can have a large impact!
Pollinators are fundamental for the conservation of biological diversity and for the adaptation of human food production systems to climate change.
Climate Change has affected pollinators
With climate change being an ever-present topic in our lives, pollinators have a crucial and increasing role in the food production process. The production volume of pollinator-dependent crops has increased threefold over the last five decades, making us more dependent on pollination.
Climate change affects all of our lives and its important to do our part. While we may not think of growing a herb and vegetable garden as part of our individual fight, it’s actually an important part that everyone can do to now only #savethebee, but help all pollinators and aid in the fight against climate change.
Pollinators affect our food supply
These crops include fruits and vegetables and are essential for human diets and nutrition, since they provide us with vitamins and minerals.
More than 75% of leading global crop types benefit from animal pollination in production, yield and quality
Pollinators, like bees, form an important aspect in global economic systems and social activities and traditions. While we wouldn’t think that an insect can have that large of impact, they do!
Around 5-8 percent of current global crop production is a direct result of animal and insect pollination. This equates to somewhere between 235 and 577 billion American dollars worldwide!
They also provide main resources, such as biofuels, fiber like cotton and linen, and construction materials. Socially, pollinators are embedded in local cultures and traditions. Bees also produce honey and wax which is a valued resource, delicious, and sustainable. Pollinators also provide resources for the creation of musical instruments, arts and crafts, but also give inspiration to art, music, literature, religions, traditions, technology and education.
It’s important to note though that pollinators are under threat. Pollinators are losing habitat, plant diversity and their health is being affected by pesticides and herbicides. By planting pollinator friendly plants, you’re doing your part to help them live a better life and be able to positively affect the ecosystems of habitats for miles surrounding your garden!
If you’re interested in adding pollinator friendly herbs and vegetables, look no further than Lovelight Herb Farm. We use natural growing practices and can help you create a dual purpose garden that yields plenty of food for your family and helps to support pollinators, improve their resources, and keeps them healthy!