When it comes to our food supply, we owe a lot to an army of tireless workers that bring variety and sweetness to our lives.
We’re talking about bees, the tiny powerhouse pollinators that spend their days going the distance, pollinating crops, and making sweet golden honey.
Here are some fast facts to put their work into perspective:
1 – the number of teaspoons of honey an average bee will produce in its lifetime
50-100 – the numbers of flowers a bee will visit each trip from the hive
77,200 – the number of kilometers bees will have flown in order to produce one litre of honey
15,000,000,000 (yes, billion) – the estimated dollar value of crops the United States Department of Agriculture credits to bee pollination each year
Bees are responsible for approximately one out of every three mouthfuls of food we eat. They ensure the health of many crops, from almonds and tree nuts to fruit and vegetables.
They’re also the reason for a substance that brings sweetness to our diets, and that’s begun taking the natural medicine and beauty worlds by storm. Honey has long been used in medicine, specifically in the treatment of wounds, due to its antimicrobial properties, but its list of uses is growing.
Most recently, Manuka Honey, which has the highest antimicrobial properties of all honeys, has found itself in the golden spotlight as a skin care solution for acne, aging, and more. It’s produced by bees that pollinate the indigenous Manuka bush in New Zealand, but its popularity has began to cross-pollinate around the world.
Unfortunately, pests and other threats have left some bees vulnerable, and colonies struggling.
How can you help the bees in your day-to-day life?
● Plant a Bee-Friendly Garden – There are lots of beautiful and functional plants that are a great boon to bees. Seek out seeds like Red Clover, Foxglove, Bee Balm, or Joy-Pye Weed to plant, and ensure bees have a safe haven in which to thrive.
● Reduce or Eliminate Pesticide Use – Shift your focus instead to plants that control pests naturally, and accept the fact that some of your harvest may suffer slightly. It’s a small sacrifice to make to keep your garden buzzing!
● Support as you Spend – Spending your money on ethical and sustainable businesses helps cast a vote of support for their future and, when it comes to honey, the future of bees. Manuka Health New Zealand is committed to sustainable beekeeping, harvesting, and processing, minimizing its impact on the environment and on the future of bees.
Consider these pollinator-friendly actions to ensure we can all continue to benefit from the bounty of bees for many years to come.