Bees are necessary for cross-pollination. This is when the pollen from the anther of a flower is transferred by the bee to the stigma of another flower of the same species.
They collect nectar from the blossom by sucking it out with their tongues and then store it in what's called their “honey stomach,” not their food stomach.
When they have a full load, they fly back to the hive. There, they pass it on through their mouths to other worker bees who chew it for about half an hour. It's passed from bee to bee, until it gradually turns into honey. The honey is the food for bees. “In short, honey bees make honey as a way of storing food to eat over the cooler winter period, when they are unable to forage and there are fewer flowers from which to gather food.” (http://www.buzzaboutbees.net/why-do-bees-make-honey.html)
Then honeycomb – or “wax combs,” because they’re made of wax – are like vases where the bees store the honey. The bees flap their wings until the honey is dry and then they seal it with more wax to protect it.
I can understand why they’re called worker bees!
What about butterflies?
According to One Green Planet:
“Nearly 90 percent of all plants need a pollinator to reproduce and as bee populations drop, the role of the butterfly becomes even more vital. Without these wonderful insects, many plant species would then be unable to reproduce and their populations would dramatically decrease without the butterfly’s presence. We would see this effect in a number of plant species including wild flowers we have grown to love. This loss of plant life would affect both animals and humans.
Butterflies also provide assistance for genetic variation in the plant species they that they collect nectar from. Many species of butterfly migrate over long distances, which allows pollen to be shared across groups of plants that are far apart from one another. This helps plants to be more resilient against disease and gives them a better chance at survival.
Different species of butterfly can even provide effective pest control, naturally keeping plant populations healthy and disease free…Butterflies also act as a lower member of the food chain. They are a hearty meal for a number of animals, including birds and mice. As populations of butterfly diminish, so will populations of birds and other animals that rely on them as a food source. This loss of the butterfly is the beginning of the ‘butterfly effect.’ It will continue to affect the entire ecosystem, working its way up the trophic levels. Nearly two-thirds of all invertebrates can be connected back to the butterfly on the food chain. The loss of this seemingly insignificant insect could, potentially, collapse entire ecosystems that rely so heavily on them.”
“Collapse the entire system.” Yikes! That includes us humans!
Nature is more than just a gift to view. It is vital to our earth and to our well-being as a whole. In fact, nature brings us to serene places in our mind. It reduces stress, anger, blood pressure, anxiety and fear. I should think that’s why so many of us want to “get away” to placid places and resorts with a view when we feel overwhelmed.
It’s rare to hear someone say let’s get away to a noisy city for peace and relaxation!
At www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu I read that “Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, it contributes to your physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones. It may even reduce mortality, according to scientists such as public health researchers Stamatakis and Mitchell.”
Even basic houseplants give off an energy that soothes and calms the mental arena. Let’s read on… “Research done in hospitals, offices, and schools has found that even a simple plant in a room can have a significant impact on stress and anxiety…In addition, nature helps us cope with pain. Because we are genetically programmed to find trees, plants, water, and other nature elements engrossing, we are absorbed by nature scenes and distracted from our pain and discomfort.
This is nicely demonstrated in a now classic study of patients who underwent gallbladder surgery; half had a view of trees and half had a view of a wall. According to the physician who conducted the study, Robert Ulrich, the patients with the view of trees tolerated pain better, appeared to nurses to have fewer negative effects, and spent less time in a hospital. More recent studies have shown similar results with scenes from nature and plants in hospital rooms…. Furthermore, time in nature or viewing nature scenes increases our ability to pay attention. Because humans find nature inherently interesting, we can naturally focus on what we are experiencing out in nature. This also provides a respite for our overactive minds, refreshing us for new tasks.
In another interesting area, Andrea Taylor’s research on children with ADHD shows that time spent in nature increases their attention span later.”
The facts and data are tipping the scales in the debate that protecting nature, and leaving room for its expanse is crucial for the sustainability to our planet and to our lives.
From trees, to bees and everything in between, loving nature and contributing to its survival ensures an earth that is beautiful, healthier and cleaner for us and future generations.
Love your planet!
Love the animals!
Love all of nature!
We need them!
Below are movies that just might make you see non-human animals from a different and higher point of view!
Nature: Animal Odd Couples
The Elephant in the Living Room
Nature: My Bionic Pet
Check out this book on incredible and inspiring stories about how animals both teach us and heal us!
Animals as Teachers and Healers by Susan Chernak McElroy