In the United States there are approximately 91,000 known species of the 2-30 million species of insects estimated to be on Earth today. And while all of the 10 quintillion insects on Earth today are important to our ecosystems and planet, there is one insect in particular which is intimately connected to us. The honeybee.
Honeybees (apis mellifera) are one of the most amazing species of insects in the world. Descended from the wasp family, bees have co-evolved with flowering plants; each with extraordinary adaptations which allow them to utilize pollen, nectar and other parts of plants they share a symbiotic relationship with. When these pollinators disappear, so too will all the flowering plants and trees they pollinate to keep alive.
Honeybees make up about twelve of about 20,000 species of bees. The cornerstone of entire human economies, ecosystems, and health, they have helped humans become as successful a species, as we are today. The primary pollinator of fruits, vegetables and nuts, and supporting pollinator of coffee and other plants, the honeybee has entire human economies resting on it’s tiny thorax.
If we cannot save them we will lose flowering plants, soils, and foods upon which we depend, for environmental and human health. We will lose foods which hold extraordinary sources of specific vitamins, minerals, and enzymes.