September being National Honey Month makes it a great time to talk about bees. Bees are vital to life on Earth for many species. Sure bees produce honey, but bees are also pollinators. Of the 396,000 types of flowering plants on Earth, 90% require pollination. A typical colony of bees can pollinate 250 million flowers in a day. Bees contribute $577 billion to global crop production and are also an important part of food and habitat production for many, many species.
But bee populations are in trouble, which means we are all in trouble. Bee populations are declining due to things like habitat loss, pesticide use, and climate change. One in four wild bee species are at risk of extinction and beekeepers are seeing annual hive losses of 30%. Efforts to save bee populations are vital. Moraine Valley Community College is trying to be a part of the solution with the recent addition of beehives to the prairie on campus. The MVCC bees are helping plants to thrive and have already produced some honey, as seen in the photo above.
To find out even more about bees, check out these books from the library collection.