Pollinators are vitally important for our food web.

July 3, 2016

We had a honey party in June and, as so often happens, there was a moment that made my heart soar with happiness.

 

We were discussing the importance of pollinators to our food web. Year round, bees and pollinators are responsible for an estimated one of every three bites of food we eat. Many of the most cherished summer foods need pollinators to bear fruit. Blackberries, blueberries, cherries, peaches, and watermelon - just to name a few of the 150+ summer varieties of pollinated vegetables and fruits. I talked about how these foods would be scarce, potentially driven extinct, or would be very expensive if we loose the pollinators. It was here that one our young attendees added- it would also affect all the other food we eat too. The food for the cows and farm animals. It wasn't a question; it was a statement.

 

These are the moments that make all the work we do worthwhile. The hours of prepping materials, researching, and finding ways to help kids bee interested in bees. This young adult knew how to look beyond the obvious and see the bigger picture of our food web. 

 

Without pollinators our diet would be mostly potatoes (tubers), grains, corn, and beans. People would still have to pollinate some of these crops by hand to ensure seeds for next year's planting. There would be no coffee or chocolate! We would miss out on nuts, berries, on the summer fruits and veggies. Our young friend made a point that is just as important - grains are more productive when pollinated. A field of alfalfa will yield a larger harvest if the pollinators have visited and helped it along. Clover also depends on pollinators. Alfalfa and clover are staples for livestock. Without pollinators, the price of raising livestock would be passed on to consumers and the cost of meat would increase exponentially. 

 

This is the kind of insight and curiousity we should strive to pass on to our children. Do not stop at the obvious - look beyond to the bigger picture. #ProtectPollinators #BeeCurious #BeeAdventurous #BeefuddledFarms

 

 

 

 

 

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