Bees and beekeeping are a characteristic branch of stockbreeding. Bees are some of the oldest animals domesticated by humans and one of the few insects that people actively breed, in addition to silkworms. Bees have an important role in agriculture. They pollinate and thus reproduce plants, improve and affect the harvest as well as the quality of produce.
Almost a third of the food that people consume is directly or indirectly dependent on pollination by bees. Many species of fruits, nuts and vegetables need the help of bees for reproduction. If there are no bees numerous fruits and vegetables would disappear from people’s diets. Thus beekeeping today exceeds its fundamental need, the production of honey and honey products, but is also used as a tool for success in agriculture.
However, overuse of pesticides and the loss of areas favourable for feeding bees directly affect the life of bees and their work. Traces of pesticides, heavy metals and active toxic substances are increasingly found in honey analyses. This implies that human influence can be noticed in all parts of the ecosystems. The possibility to monitor changes in nature through bees leads to their most recent role, and that is the use of bees as a biomonitoring tool. By monitoring their numbers, behaviour and the quality of honey we can directly monitor the situation. Thus, good environment means better products. By protecting nature we take care of the bees which also means we take care of ourselves and our diet.
This is what you can do if you want to help bees:
- on your balconies and in your yard you can plant plants that have a lot of nectar
- buy honey and honey products from a local beekeeper
- try to avoid unnecessary mowing of meadows and yards, or mow them at the end of the vegetative season of plants (when flowering is over)
- try to avoid the use of pesticides