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All about bees


Bee health - All about bees

Honey bees mainly feed on nectar and pollen for their energy and protein source and most people associate them with the production of honey. Yet the greatest service honey bees provide is the pollination of agricultural crops. In their search for food, they also pollinate the flowers they visit.

 

Pollination increases the yield and quality of many crops and its value to agriculture is at least €150 billion worldwide. Pollinators include honey bees, wild bees, bumblebees, solitary bees, butterflies, wasps, beetles, birds and bats.


Bee health - All about beesThe Western (or European) honey bee (Apis mellifera) is well established in many parts of the world and relied on to perform most of the commercial pollination. At the heart of the honey bee colony is the queen. She lays up to 2,000 eggs a day and lives for 2 - 4 years. Colony duties are carried out by up to 60,000 female worker bees whose life span is about  4-6 weeks during the summer. Several hundred male drones live during the summer months and serve reproduction purposes.


There can be no doubt that honey bees should be protected so that they can continue to provide honey and carry out the pollination services that are so critical to food production.

 


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Annette Schürmann
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