Did you know that bees give to the planet just like we do? Bees are more than just cute and fuzzy honey-makers, they are also a vital part of our ecosystem and act like supportive friends to other animals. They work every day to give back to the planet, and we can learn from their giving habits. Here are five ways that bees give to the planet and to us.
Honeybees pollenate crops that make up at least a third of our food. More than 90 of our most loved flowering crops, such as: almonds, apples, asparagus, avocados, blueberries, broccoli, celery, cherries, citrus crops, cranberries, cucumber, kiwis and melons, are here thanks to the pollination from honeybees.
They also help to pollenate the crops grown to feed cattle, that can become our meat, which adds up to bees taking care of so much of our food supply.
It’s not just farm-grown fruits and vegetables that rely on pollinators to thrive, many species of wild plants also depend on pollination. When bees do their pollination duties, they are assisting in the plant’s survival, helping with the existence of multiple species of plants and flowers. It’s a beautiful example of a symbiotic relationship in nature; the plants need the bees, and the bees need the plants.
Bees are friends of other millions of other animals and insect species, because they help to build their homes and their food. Their pollination is vital in the growth of savannah woodlands, and tropical & deciduous forests. Many tree species, like willows and poplars, couldn’t grow without pollinators like bees. Even your home, or apartment’s garden can serve as a habitat for so many tiny creatures, like birds, squirrels and thousands of insects. Bees also help to feed wild animals by the production of growth like seeds, nuts, berries, and fruit. Without this food supply, the animals that depend on it for survival would become endangered as well.
Honey is a wonderful natural remedy for illness. It can soothe throat problems with its anti-inflammatory properties, and act as a cough suppressant. Honey can be a healthier way to sweeten your food and drinks; for example, honey of a darker colour contains anti-oxidants and bioactive plant compounds, which your body will prefer to traditional sugar or artificial sweeteners. This is great for diabetics too!
There are studies to show that honey can also improve your cholesterol levels and help to lower your blood pressure. A miracle substance!
Beeswax is used for incubating baby bees, and forms the main structure of beehives, but it also has benefits for our body and our world. The non allergenic qualities make it ideal for skincare. It has moisturising and soothing qualities, so can help with eczema, psoriasis and other skin problems. For those of us with frizzy, or textured hair, beeswax can be a natural remedy to moisturize and treat the hair strands.
Beeswax is also used in many products, including reusable products, that attempt to reduce plastic waste, as single-use plastics can generally not be recycled. Candles made from beeswax are considered the ideal candle. They can purify the air in the room, instead of contaminating it, like paraffin, soy, and palm wax candles can do. They are also thought to be perfect for people with asthma, allergies and sinus problems.
Complex environmental and human factors have caused these life giving bees to become endangered, it’s time to take action.
If you want to give back to the bees who give so much to us, consider donating to The Bee Conservancy. They give you the option of sponsoring a bee hive, to ensure its survival, or donating to help build and protect bee sanctuaries. The website also has great tips for creative ways to help our bee friends. If you love petitions, sign a petition at Change.org to help save the bees! This is a click to give action that is free!
For more giving inspiration and how giving will change you and the world, make a beeline for 365give.ca.