Why do farmers use honey bees?


Honeybees are beautiful and lovely creatures who suffer when pesticides are sprayed or wildflowers are mowed down. In recent years, we’ve heard a lot about bee colonies failing.

As a result, Jonas Geldmann of the University of Cambridge believes he understands how the honeybee came to be associated with environmental protection.

He still doesn’t like it, though.

“A lot of conservation organisations are promoting local honey, and even sponsorships of honeybees and that type of thing,” he says, “and that’s getting to me.”

Pesticides are killing bees, but not everywhere, according to a major new study.
Pesticides are killing bees, but not everywhere, according to a major new study.
It irritated him since the honeybee is possibly the bee species about which we should be most concerned. Honeybee hives are unnatural and harmful to the ecosystem. In fact, they may be detrimental to it.

There are thousands of different types of bees. Almost all of them are found in the wild, hidden in the earth or in unusual cavities such as hollow plant stems. They pollinate flowering plants and serve an important function in the ecology. Many species are endangered, and some have even become extinct.

In his laboratory at the University of Guelph in Canada, researcher Nigel Raine has a variety of wild bees impaled on pins. Many of them are rather small. Gardeners frequently mistake them for flies, according to Raine. “If you sit down and say, “No, that’s a small, lonely bee; that’s a metallic green one,” they will exclaim, “Wow!” when you show them a metallic green bee in their yard. That’s incredible!'”

Then there’s the honeybee, which was first imported from Europe and is now maintained and controlled by beekeepers to produce honey or pollinate crops such as almonds. It’s an agricultural animal, like sheep and cattle.

There is plenty of pollen for both honeybees and their wild counterparts when flowers are plentiful. Farmed honeybees can compete with wild bees for food in various environments, especially when an orchard stops blooming, making it difficult for wild species to thrive.

According to Geldmann, a healthy environment requires bees, but not honeybees. He wrote a commentary in the journal Science this week in an attempt to reach a wider audience. He claims that “the method we’re handling honeybees in these hives has nothing to do with natural conservation.”

This is something that bee scientists already know. However, they are at a loss as to how to communicate this to the general population.

“We’re all on a learning curve,” says Marla Spivak of the University of Minnesota, one of the most recognised bee researchers in the country. “It’s as if honeybees were a conduit — a doorway to much greater challenges, like conservation in general.”

Concerns about honeybees have led to a greater understanding of why it’s critical to have more area covered with wildflowers and trees — and free of pesticides, according to Spivak. Both honeybees and wild bees thrive in such an environment.

Spivak explains, “I prefer not to pit one bee against another.” “I’d much rather live on a planet with plenty of flowers to support all of our bees.”

But it’s the tiny green bee in your yard, not the honeybee, that needs our support the most. If you are looking for free honey bee removal, be sure call today!


Many people consider bees to be, at best, outside pests and, at worst, lethal creatures with stingers that can be painful and life-threatening. But did you realise that bees are an important part of the food supply chain? In fact, bees are thought to be responsible for a third of the food we consume.

Pollinators include birds, bats, beetles, and butterflies, which transmit pollen from flowers to plants. However, the honeybee is the most essential pollinator. Around 80% of our flowering crops are pollinated by bees. In a single trip, a honeybee can visit between 50 and 1000 flowers in 30 minutes to four hours. Watermelons, cantaloupe, citrus, apples, cucumbers, squash, most berry crops, broccoli, almonds, asparagus, and other crops pollinated by bees are examples.

Honeybees are vital for more than just commercial growers. Honeybees are also vital for the production of food for wildlife and are essential for effective home gardening. Bees also contribute to the production of alfalfa, which is used as a feed in the livestock and dairy industries. Bee venom has therapeutic characteristics and has been used to treat arthritis, fibromyalgia, cancer, epilepsy, depression, and other conditions.

Farmers require bees for a variety of reasons.

Most people are aware that bees are essential for pollination and that there is a link between bees and many of the most delicious crops we consume. However, only a small percentage of people are aware that bee pollination improves fruit quality and taste, decreases food waste, and extends shelf life!

Agricultural Pollination with Bees on Farm Land

Bees pollinate numerous crops, and agricultural land, which spans 75 percent of the United Kingdom, is a haven for much of our animals as well as foraging habitat for bees. The project, which is supported by a Waitrose doctoral studentship (student Nick Balfour), will look into a number of issues, including those listed below.

1. Using waggle dances to decode honey bee foraging during apple pollination

Nicholas Balfour, a Ph.D. student, visiting a Kent apple farm
With the help of Adrian Scripps Ltd., one of the country’s largest apple farmers, this experiment will be carried out in one of the country’s primary apple-growing districts, West Kent near Tonbridge in Kent (just 30 miles from Sussex University). The major goal will be to figure out where honey bees from colonies in apple orchards forage, and whether they are foraging on apples or not. Do the bees, for example, being redirected to surrounding fields of flowering oil seed rape or wild flowers, or to nearby apple farmers’ orchards? Decoding waggle dances will be used to determine foraging sites. Pollen samples will also be gathered and identified using traps at hive entrances to determine the variety of flowers visited and the relative value of apples. The findings will aid growers in making better use of rented bee hives for pollination. The UK apple sector is booming with new orchards and varieties, aided by rising public interest in homegrown goods and stores like Waitrose’s readiness to carry British apples. Apples are the most significant crop pollinated by bees in the United Kingdom.

2. Farm beehives: what do farmers desire and how might they help?

Farmers will be surveyed to see how many have an apiary for bee hives on their farm, how many would want to have an apiary where a beekeeper may manage hives, how many have acceptable places for an apiary, and how many keep hives themselves or would like to. It will also identify whether the farms examined grow any crops that could benefit from pollination by honey bees.

3. Determining the value of agricultural land as summer feed for bees by combining dance decoding with site visits

College Farm’s Apiary, Duxford

College Farm’s Apiary, Duxford
Honey bees spend much of July and August feeding in agricultural land, frequently over long distances, according to ongoing LASI research decoding waggle dances as part of Project 2 of the Sussex Plan (up to c. 10km). This demonstrates how important agriculture is as a source of feed. What habitats, field kinds, and plant species are the bees actually foraging on? The research will take field trips to the plant types that the bees are foraging on, as well as how attractive they are to other pollinating insects like bumble bees, solitary bees, hover flies, and butterflies.

The movie below shows excerpts from a project that uses the honey bee waggle dance to investigate honey bee foraging during apple pollination. It was shot in spring 2012. PhD student Nick Balfour and his supervisor Professor Francis Ratnieks of the University of Sussex’s Laboratory of Apiculture and Social Insects (LASI) are working on the research. Nick’s PhD thesis, “Helping Bees and Agricultural Pollination in Farm Land,” is part of the “Sussex Plan for Honey Bee Health and Well-Being.” The research was conducted at Moat Farm and Capel Grange Farm in Five Oak Green, Kent, which is one of the UK’s most important apple-growing regions. Apples are the most significant crop in the United Kingdom that requires pollination by bees. Waitrose donated the funding. The objective is to collect further data in the spring of 2013 before putting up the findings. The findings should be useful in determining how to use bees successfully in apple pollination.