It’s crazy to think just a few years ago Exuma had not more bees left. Bees might be a slight nuisance but they’re incredibly important to the environment. Thanks to the Savannah Bee Company and the Exuma Foundation, bees are now thriving on Exuma. But why exactly are bees to vital to The Bahamas?
Think of your favorite fruit or vegetable. Now take a moment to appreciate the fact that bees are responsible for them growing. In order to develop, these plants need to be pollinated. Bees move from flower to flower looking for nectar and leave behind grains of pollen, which allows plants to grow and produce food. Basically, bees are the best agricultural works the world has! Growing in the Bahamas is already challenging due to the soil, but bees make it easier!
Wild Plant Growth
It’s not just the food we eat that we can thank bees for. Wild plants depend on insect pollination as well. Bees help the production of seeds, nuts, berries, fruit, and more. Not only do wild plants help keep the soil rich, but they also serve as a vital food source for wild animals! The Bahamas is home to a number of unique animal species, and without bees, they wouldn’t have anything to eat!
Humans have eaten honey since ancient times. Bees produce honey to feed their colonies, but humans aren’t the only ones who like to snack on it. Birds, raccoons, insects and other wild animals raid beehives for the nutritious honey. Bees themselves are also apart of the food chain. At least 24 species of birds prey on bees, as do spiders and other insects. Without bees, the food chain is in danger.
The plants’ bees help pollinate do more than feed humans and animals. They also provide a habitat for insects and animals in the wild. Many tree species wouldn’t be able to grow without bees! Trees, bushes, flowers, and more are home to a number of species from birds to insects.
Bees play a part in every aspect of the ecosystem. As pollinators, they help plants grow, which provide food and shelter for animals and insects. This means that bees contribute to the complex ecosystems that allow a diverse number of species to co-exist. This is especially important in The Bahamas. As an island nation, wildlife doesn’t have the luxury of migrating if a food source becomes scarce. Bees help keep the balance to allow biodiversity to thrive.
So next time you see a bee, appreciate it instead of swatting it away!