The world without Honeybees
Honey bees are the insects that usually live in colonies. They are found all over the world, except in the coldest places. There are about 20,000 species found all around the world. There might be many species of honey bee but they all do the same work that is pollination. The honey bee has two wings, two antennas and three body segments. It lives in the hives that consist of a single queen, few hundreds of drones and thousands of worker bees.
The worker bees take care of the honeybee hives and they are all female. These workers are in charge of feeding the baby bees (larvae), queen bees growth, cleaning the hives, food collecting, protect the hives and building honeycomb. The life span of Worker bees is 45 days.
The Drone bees are the male bees. Their only job is to mate with the queens of other hives. Life span of drone bees is 90 days. Drones are incompetent of stinging
In summer and winter, the Queen bees are capable of laying 1,500 eggs a day. There will be only one queen bee in a hive. In the colony she is the only fertile member and also the mom for all other bee. The queen bees will not leave the hive until colony swarms look for new home.
All the bees suck nectar from the flower which is 80% of water and complex sugar. Naturally the nectar would not get ferment. Bees convert nectar to honey by fermentation for the storage purpose. Honey contains only 14-18% of water. The worker bee sucks nectar from the flower and stores it in the stomach and after returning to its hives it vomits the nectar into processor honeybee’s mouth. In its stomach an invertase enzyme is mixed with nectar. This invertase helps to break the nectar into sugars like glucose and fructose.
Then the processor honey vomits the partially converted nectar into another processor’s honey bee mouth, again more invertase is added so that more breakdown occurs in the nectar. This process continues until the nectar is converted to simple sugars. Then the simple sugar is stored in honey comb. If the mixture is still watery, bees flap their wings to evaporate the water so that mixture gets thicken and finally forms honey. The bees will put a ceiling on that cell with beeswax; the honey is sealed for later consumption.
They play a vital role in pollination. The Pollen in the flower is used for making the seed and this process is called pollination. Imagine if the world is without honeybee obviously there won’t be any fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. The world’s one-third of the crop is depends on honeybee’s pollination. All plants in the world are needed to be pollinated in order to reproduce. Bees get attracted to the flowers color and its fragrance. Actually bees can see color. The yellow and blue colors are the most preferred colors of bees and they are unable to see red color. Only bees that can fly at the speed of 5 km/hr can be able to see the color.
Bee while sucking nectar from the flower, Pollen gets stick to the bee hair and if the bee moves to the next plant of same species the pollen gets stuck to their stigma. Now the male pollen has been transferred, mated with the female egg cell and they get matured into seeds in the flower.
A bee normally flies with the speed of 30km/hr and takes 100 flowers for one foraging flight. Bees have a capacity to make a maximum of 40 flights per day, so that they can reach nearly 4,000 flowers per day. Consider if a hive has nearly 20,000 bees swarm, nearly 20 million flowers are pollinated in a day. If bees find a rich source of food, it shares the information to its neighbor bee by various dances such as round and waggle. Bees recruit the other bees into their community by dancing.
If the bees in the world become extinct, there will be catastrophic consequences. There would be 70% important human consumption crops and large numbers of food chain are broken. All the Supermarkets would have only half as many vegetables and fruits as they offer today. Major shortage of dairy products, because dairy cows, sheep and goats all depend on bee pollinated food. It would become far more difficult to rear animals for meat, so food prices would sky rocket.
Diets would be restricted to crops and animals that didn’t rely on bee pollination things such as pork, chicken, rice, corn etc. Within a relatively short period of time, malnutrition could become a major problem for most of the world’s population. Cotton would also end to grow, which would force us to find alternative materials for clothing and likely make fabrics more far and expensive. All these affect the world economy with people scrambling for the resources to retain their life style.
Bees aren’t going to disappear overnight but there is a serious concern about the falling numbers around the world. The greatest concern is industrial agriculture which uses large amount of pesticide targeted for other insects might also kill bees. The destruction of natural habits for the farmland purpose as well as change in global temperature and global warming are also considered as major contribution. Ecological environment protects the environment, encourages biodiversity and wider protection of wild habitat may support different species growth.
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