Saturday, August 19, 2006

The value of a honeybee

The Honeybee (Apis melifera) is one of the most beneficial insects in the world. There are some 150 U.S. crops and more than 50 California crops pollinated by honeybees, for example, apples, fruits, berries, almonds, melons, cucumbers, clovers and alfalfa. We have the honeybee to thank for one third of all the food we eat. Without the bees, we would be eating mostly rice, wheat, and corn instead of the wonderful variety of fruits, vegetables, and nuts we enjoy today. This insect pollinates BILLIONS OF DOLLARS of agricultural crops each year. In addition, it is impossible to determine the tremendous value these pollinators have in our urban gardens. Now, since the demise of all of our feral (wild) honeybee populations, their value in our neighborhoods is greater than ever.

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