Agriculture that Depends on Honey Bees

Agriculture that Depends on Honey Bees

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Agriculture that Depends on Honey Bees

One out of every three bites of food Americans consume comes from a plant pollinated by bees or other pollinators. Economically, it’s estimated that $15 billion crops annually are pollinated in the U.S., with bees doing almost 80 percent of the work.

Not only does the bee’s pollination result in higher number of fruits, berries or seed, but it also harvests higher quality produce. Efficient pollination from the honey bee also serves as a protection against pests for the crops. Without bees to pollinate, many plants – including food crops – would die off.

So you could say agriculture and honey bees have a critical mutual relationship. Without bees, the global economy would take a huge hit. As it is, the recent decline of honey bees has resulted in lower crop yields and increased production costs.

While we don’t need bees to pollinate every single crop, here is a brief list of some of the foods that are strongly tied to honey bee pollination.

Almonds

Each year the U.S. produces about $2.3 billion worth of almond crops. California yields an average of 1.5 billion pounds of nuts per year.

One of the most important crop and honey bee pollination partnership is with California’s almond production. California is responsible for producing 80 percent of the world’s almonds. This crop is entirely dependent on honey bee pollination. Without the bees, there would be no almonds. In order to assist in pollinating the more than 790,000 acres of almonds, about half of the honey bee population in the United States is brought to the California fields. This results in more than a million colonies of honey bees.

ApplesEach year the U.S. produces about $2.7 billion worth of apples. The U.S. is the world’s second largest apple producer. Approximately one out of every four apples grown in the U.S. is exported.

For apples, pollination is the most critical event in their yearly production cycle. Apples begin as flowers on an apple tree. For a flower to transition into an apple, the pollen produced on one apple tree must be transferred to the flower of another tree. It has been found that 97 percent of the insects visiting these fruit blossoms are honey bees. Without the help from bees, the flowers would bloom and die without a chance to produce an apple.

AvocadosThe U.S. is the world’s largest market for fresh avocados. California produces about 90 percent of the nation’s avocado crop.

Avocados are a partially self-pollinating crop. However, help from the honey bees have been shown to boost both the yield and quality of avocados. It has been estimated that up 90 percent of an avocado crop would be lost if there was no bee pollination. Further, a report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service has indicated that 90 percent of avocados grown in the U.S. rely on honey bees for pollination.

BlueberriesThe value of the nation’s blueberry crop is estimated at more that $593 million.

Blueberry plants are insect-pollinated. The blueberry flower produces both pollen and nectar, with pollen being produced for up to five days. Honey bees visit the blueberry flower to collect both nectar and pollen. Of all the insect pollinator visitors to the blueberry plant, honey bees make up 95 percent.

CantaloupeMelonsThe value of melons in the U.S. is estimated at $75.4 million. The average American consumes about 27 pounds of melons each year.

Since cantaloupe plants have heavy pollen, insect pollination is necessary. Honey bees visit cantaloupe blossoms for both the pollen and nectar. With increased honey bee pollination, certain varieties of cantaloupe grow in volume, weight and sweetness.

CherriesThe production of cherries in the U.S. is valued $767 million. In 2014 the cherry production totaled 363,850 tons.

Cherry crops require cross-pollination to survive and reproduce. The average blossoming period for pollination is about seven to eight days, with several factors that can affect this. Bees transfer pollen within and between the flowers. The more flowers that are pollinated by bees means more cherries on each tree. Cherries that don’t receive adequate pollination fail to develop. Honey bees are responsible for pollinating about 90 percent of the cherries in the U.S., according to the National Agriculture Statistics Service.

CucumbersEach year the U.S. produces about $193 million worth of cucumbers. The U.S. produces about 747 tons of cucumbers a year.

Cucumber plants produce both a male and female flowers. The large and sticky pollen must be transferred between the two to create a cucumber. Honey bees have proved to be the most effective pollinators for this job. Multiple visits from honey bees result in properly shaped cucumbers, and a larger crop. Over 40 percent of flowers that have received one visit from a honey bee will produce a cucumber. Further, multiple bee visits to an individual flower will increase the amount of cucumbers and number of seeds per produce. In a study between screening out insect pollination on cucumber vines and open-pollinated vines, the screened vines produced no fruit while the open vines produced about six fruit per foot.

KiwiCalifornia currently produces 90 percent of the commercially grown kiwifruit in the U.S. In 2014, the state produced almost 28,000 tons of kiwifruit with a value of $32.7 million. – NEED TO HYPERLINK

Kiwifruit flowers depend on insect pollination. The male and female flowers are located on separate flowers on different plants. The insects need to collect pollen from the male flowers and carry it to the female flower for pollination to occur. Honey bees have long been the top insect pollinator for this job. A single bee visit increases the fruit weight and seed count.

RaspberriesThe U.S. is the world’s third-largest producer of raspberries. In 2014 the U.S. produced 173.85 million pounds of red raspberries, resulting in a $175 million revenue.

Raspberry flowers are partially self-fertile. The plant can produce some fruit without bee pollination. However, honey bees produce more and bulkier berries through pollination. Bee pollination also results in fully formed fruits, avoiding deformities. The raspberry flowers are typically very attractive to bees because of the large amount of nectar. Because of this, bees don’t have to visit as many flowers to effectively pollinate.

squashThe value of squash, pumpkin and gourds in the U.S. is estimated at $237.1 million.

Honey bees are the most important pollinators for squash, pumpkin and gourds. These plants produce separate male and female flowers for pollination, with the number of males outweighing the females to help ensure successful pollination. When bees pollinate these plants, the number and weight of fruit produced increases.

StrawberriesThe value of strawberry crops in the U.S. is estimated at $2.9 billion. Every year the U.S. produces more than 3 billion pounds of strawberries.

Strawberry flowers are hermaphrodites. However, pollination from honey bees results in greater outcomes. Pollination by insects increases the quality and shelf life, saving hundreds of millions of dollars in the process. Strawberries pollinated by bees are more vibrantly colorful than other berries and have fewer deformities. Because they are firmer, their shelf life is about 12 hours longer than those that were wind-pollinated. If pollinators weren’t involved, growers would lose 11 percent of the fruit’s value, which would have cost the U.S. farmer $264 million in 2011 from spoilage. Honey bee pollination has also led to 39 percent higher sales value than wind-pollinated berries.

WatermelonWatermelon is one of the top three crops produced in the U.S. In 2014 the U.S. produced 3.2 billion pounds of watermelon.

Watermelon’s pollen is sticky and can’t be blown by the wind, so insect pollination is critical. Each watermelon plant has a separate male and female flower that opens immediately in the morning and closes early in the afternoon, making initial morning bee activity very important. Bees need to visit an individual flower eight times to help produce a well-shaped, large fruit.

 

Besides these few agricultural crops listed above, the honey bee also has an important role in pollinating native plants that serve as habitat and food sources for our wildlife across the nation. Some of the food used to feed livestock must also by pollinated be bees. All in all, honey bees are essential to our agricultur

Telling the Bees

 

Telling The Bees written by John Greenleaf Whittier 1894

Here is the place; right over the hill

Runs the path I took;
You can see the gap in the old wall still,
And the stepping-stones in the shallow brook.

There is the house, with the gate red-barred,
And the poplars tall;
And the barn’s brown length, and the cattle-yard,
And the white horns tossing above the wall.

There are the beehives ranged in the sun;
And down by the brink
Of the brook are her poor flowers, weed-o’errun,
Pansy and daffodil, rose and pink.

A year has gone, as the tortoise goes,
Heavy and slow;
And the same rose blows, and the same sun glows,
And the same brook sings of a year ago.

There ‘s the same sweet clover-smell in the breeze;
And the June sun warm
Tangles his wings of fire in the trees,
Setting, as then, over Fernside farm.

I mind me how with a lover’s care
From my Sunday coat
I brushed off the burrs, and smoothed my hair,
And cooled at the brookside my brow and throat.

Since we parted, a month had passed,–
To love, a year;
Down through the beeches I looked at last
On the little red gate and the well-sweep near.

I can see it all now,–the slantwise rain
Of light through the leaves,
The sundown’s blaze on her window-pane,
The bloom of her roses under the eaves.

Just the same as a month before,–
The house and the trees,
The barn’s brown gable, the vine by the door,–
Nothing changed but the hives of bees.

Before them, under the garden wall,
Forward and back,
Went drearily singing the chore-girl small,
Draping each hive with a shred of black.

Trembling, I listened: the summer sun
Had the chill of snow;
For I knew she was telling the bees of one
Gone on the journey we all must go!

Then I said to myself, “My Mary weeps
For the dead to-day:
Haply her blind old grandsire sleeps
The fret and the pain of his age away.”

But her dog whined low; on the doorway sill,
With his cane to his chin,
The old man sat; and the chore-girl still
Sung to the bees stealing out and in.

And the song she was singing ever since
In my ear sounds on:–
“Stay at home, pretty bees, fly not hence!
Mistress Mary is dead and gone!”

100% Natural hand creams from Sliabh Aughty Honey

Hand Cream:

Our hand creams are made from the beeswax from our own hives and other natural organic ingredients. The cream moisturizes and conditions and can soften rough callused hands. The cream also has great healing properties and is great when used on small cuts, scars and burns. Feedback from clients has found our cream is beneficial for brittle nails and eczema .   The hand cream comes in two fragrances; Orange/Peppermint, and Lavender

The Honey Bees’ Second Shift

Pollination

The Honey Bees’ Second Shift

In addition to gathering nectar to produce honey, honey bees perform a vital second function – pollination, making them a critical component of today’s agricultural market. In fact, about one-third of the human diet is derived from insect-pollinated plants, and honey bees are responsible for 80 percent of this pollination.

Pollination is the fertilization of a flowering plant.  Pollination occurs when pollen is transferred from the anthers of a flower to the ovules of that or another flower. Honey bees are responsible for pollinating a variety of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts such as almonds.

Without the honey bees’ pollination work, the quantity and quality of many crops would be reduced and some would not yield at all. According to a 2000 Cornell University study, the increased yield and quality of agricultural crops as a result of honey bee pollination is valued at more than $14.6 billion per year. And although other insects can pollinate plants, honey bees are premier pollinators because they are available throughout the growing season and pollinate a wide range of crops.

Put These 3 Ingredients in Your Coffee. After Just 2 Sips, Your Metabolism Will Be Faster Than Ever!

We all love our hot cup of coffee, especially at the beginning of the new day. Yet, not all of you are aware that its consumption also brings various health benefits.

It can boost your metabolism and give you more energy for the day.

Also, only a few know that you can transform your favorite morning brew into a metabolism booster and a potent fat burner! All you need to do is to add several ingredients to your coffee, and it will help you burn extra pounds without changing your diet or lifestyle!

These three mighty ingredients include:

1. Coconut oil is a real natural miracle which has a wide range of uses. It contains medium-chain fatty acids, which are immediately sent to the liver by the digestive system, and are either converted to energy or ketone bodies, and not in fat. It sets the metabolism to burn fat faster and more efficiently

The burning process of fats is significantly affected by minerals and vitamins, so honey can be of great help, as this gift of nature contains them in high amounts, and prevents any mineral or vitamin deficiencies.

2. Honey is abundant in sugar, but a natural one, which is needed for energy. Moreover, it is rich in vitamin B6, folate, vitamin C, niacin, and riboflavin, as well as numerous minerals, such as iron, calcium, sodium, zinc, potassium, and phosphorus.

Honey has been scientifically confirmed to be able to lower stress and regulate blood cholesterol levels. Use raw honey only.

3. Cinnamon is an extremely beneficial, anti-inflammatory agent which fights inflammation in the body, and due to its antioxidant properties, neutralizes the damage caused by free radicals.

Cinnamon boosts the blood sugar metabolism and thus lowers blood sugar levels. It prevents the accumulation of fat in the body as it supports the conversion of sugar into energy. The best cinnamon types are Ceylon and Cassia.

Here is how to use these remarkable natural ingredients and boost your metabolism while drinking your coffee:

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup of coconut oil
  • ½  tbsp of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of cocoa (optional)

Instructions:

Mix these ingredients together in a glass jar, and store it in the fridge.

Use:

Every morning, you should add a teaspoon or two of the mixture to your freshly brewed coffee, stir well, and drink it! Enjoy!

Source: www.myhealthybook.com