Did You Know That Bees Are Essential In The Production Of Nearly 70% Of Our Crops? Approximately 1/3 of our bee population has been destroyed. The global economic cost of bee decline, including lower crop yields and increased production costs, has been estimated at as high as $5.7 billion per year. Keeping bee populations safe is critical for keeping American tables stocked with high-quality produce and our agriculture sector running smoothly.
<p> Bee FactsWhy We Need Bees:
Nature’s Tiny Workers Put Food
on Our Tables
Many people think of bees simply as a summertime nuisance. But these
small and hard-working insects actually make it possible for many of your
favorite foods to reach your table. From apples to almonds to the pumpkin
in our pumpkin pies, we have bees to thank. Now, a condition known as
Colony Collapse Disorder is causing bee populations to plummet, which
means these foods are also at risk. In the United States alone, more than 25
percent of the managed honey bee population has disappeared since 1990.1
Bees are one of a myriad of other animals, including birds, bats, beetles,
and butterflies, called pollinators. Pollinators transfer pollen and seeds
from one flower to another, fertilizing the plant so it can grow and produce
food. Cross-pollination helps at least 30 percent of the world’s crops and
90 percent of our wild plants to thrive.2 Without bees to spread seeds,
many plants—including food crops—would die off.
For more information,
Bees Keep Our Economy Humming
More than $15 billion a year in U.S. crops are
pollinated by bees, including apples, berries,
cantaloupes, cucumbers, alfalfa, and almonds.
U.S. honey bees also produce about $150 million
in honey annually. But fewer bees means the
economy takes a hit: The global economic cost
of bee decline, including lower crop yields and
increased production costs, has been estimated
at as high as $5.7 billion per year.3 Keeping bee
populations safe is critical for keeping American
tables stocked with high-quality produce and our
agriculture sector running smoothly.
Every third bite of food
you take, thank a bee
or other pollinator.
adapted from e.o. Wilson,
forgotten pollinators, 1996
Bees Are Disappearing
Around the World
Beekeepers first sounded the alarm about
disappearing bees in the United States in 2006.
Seemingly healthy bees were simply abandoning