Do you immediately associate bees with buzzing and painful stings? Some may perceive bees as pests, but there are many benefits of bees to roles in society. For starters, Bees create honey, which is the only insect created good that has numerous health benefits ranging from aiding sleep, alleviating sore throats and colds, to strengthening the immune system. Currently, the Nectar team realizes the importance of this insect and donates a portion of every sale to the BeeCause Organization. This organization teaches schoolchildren the importance of bees in society along with helping restore bee populations around the world. Let's learn more about the benefits of bees to the world below!
As mentioned above, Bees are the only insects that can create honey. Honey has numerous health benefits and is the only insect created substance that has all the properties to sustain life! Also, it's important to be aware of differences between raw honey and processed honey. Processed honey is created by large food companies that extract bee pollen. While processed honey might taste good, raw honey is much better as it contains more nutrients and antioxidants. In fact, processed honey adds unhealthy amounts of high fructose corn syrup and has been linked to obesity, liver damage, hypertension among other unhealthy conditions. The best way to obtain raw honey is to go to a bee farm or organic market, with some offering it for sale online!
Since one of the biggest benefits of bees to the world is honey, it makes sense to learn how it's created. First, bees go to flowers to collect nectar, which is a rich, nutrient filled liquid found within the flowers in special glands called nectaries. Once they obtain the nectar, bees return to the hive to process honey. Here, bees ingest and regurgitate nectar constantly, until it is partially digested. Bee's stomachs contain many important digestive enzymes namely, amylase, invertase, and diastase, which contribute to the honey process.
Then, the bees work as a large group regurgitating and digesting these enzymes along with nectar for up to 20 minutes until the honey is ready to be stored. Once the product is satisfactory, it's placed in unsealed honeycomb cells. In this stage, the honey is mostly water based and contains natural yeasts, which would cause fermentation if left unchecked. To prevent fermentation, bees constantly fly around the hive flapping their wings to evaporate water, which raises the honey's sugar concentration. Lastly, the bees cap the cells with wax to seal them.
Without bees, we'd have less plants, which would negatively impact society. Plants play a crucial role in society like providing food, medicine, and even oxygen. Plants need to reproduce and rely on animals, especially bees to assist them via a process called pollination. Some plants can cross pollinate, while other rely on bees and other factors, like the wind to reproduce. During pollination, bees take pollen from the male part of the flower, the anther, to the stigma, which is the female part of the flower. This process forms nuts, fruit and seeds.
Bees allow plants to grow, which in turn makes our world beautiful. Without bees, there would be a significant reduction in gardens, meadows and other breathtaking spots. Besides making the planet visually appealing, flowers and other plants play a vital role: shelter for other animals. Bees allow flowers to reproduce, but they also allow tiny seeds to grow into large trees, which can house many animals like birds, squirrels and other insects.
Since bees create seeds, nuts and fruits, they play a large role in human consumption. For example, bees are responsible for 84% of crops grown for human consumption. Bees allow humans to enjoy many common, delicious fruits and vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, cantaloupes, cucumbers, pumpkins, blueberries, watermelons, almonds, apples, cranberries, and cherries. Besides fruits and vegetables, bees also contribute to the meat industry by providing food to dairy cows and other animals. This enforces the ripple effect that seemingly small things like seeds and insects play in modern society.
Other Bee Products
In addition to creating honey, bees also create many important products like bees wax. Beeswax is a natural wax produced through wax glands found in the bees' outer body. Bees wax is important to these insects because it serves as a building block for honey comb cells. These honey comb cells are found within the hive and are used as housing for young bees as well as pollen storage centers.
This product might seem trivial to humans, but bees wax is the foundation for many goods ranging from skin care products, health products and even surf wax. Traditional surf wax contains harmful chemicals that are hazardous if consumed, which negatively impacts wildlife. In a previous post, we mentioned eco friendly surf products with Bees knees surf wax being a great alternative to standard wax. Bees knees surf wax uses soy as its base ingredient in addition to bees wax.
Honey and bees wax have many healing properties ranging from curing sore throats to eczema. Therefore, bees wax is a key ingredient in some eczema lotions. Since Bees wax contains tons of vitamin A, it helps soothe damaged skin. Also, it acts as a line of defense from outside toxins entering your skin. For those of you who like to make DIY products, this guide will show you how to make homemade beeswax eczema lotions. In addition to skin care products, bees wax can be utilized to make other common goods like candles. In fact, beeswax candles typically burn slower than other brands, which save you money in the long run, despite a higher price tag.
Bees shouldn't be seen as loud, buzzing pests that like to sting. Instead, we should acknowledge the benefits of bees to the world via honey, sustaining plant life, various food sources, and their positive impact on other animals. Bees are constantly losing their habitats, which would have severe consequences on society. Therefore, Nectar has partnered with the BeeCause organization, which helps restore bee habits as well as educating students about bees.
What are the other benefits of bees to society and what's your favorite honey brand? Please share below!