Why are bees important?

Welcome to Urban Bees!

Creating Gardens To Sustain Bees In Cities




Bees are very important for our survival and the survival of other animals and plants. They live all over the world and pollinate our crops and plants so they can reproduce, produce and feed organisms. Bees are an essential part of our lives, the value of plants pollinated worldwide per year is about 265 billion dollars and the food we eat would stop existing without out them or we would have less diversity in our food. The growth of around 4,000 kinds of vegetables in europe depends on bees. It would also mean that the food for our livestock would disappear thus, meaning no milk or meat. We would not have things such as honey and beeswax which bring a lot of money in. There would be a huge economic drop because of the money bees bring in our pollinating crops and producing honey and beeswax. Bee colonies are declining and bees are dying. In North America, in the year 1988 there were around 5 million bee colonies, and today (2015) there are only around 2.5 million. Since 2006, there has been a phenomenon called "Colony Collapse Disorder", this is a number of different things that causes the massive decline in bee colonies.


Neonicotinoid is a very deadly insecticide that attacks a insect's nervous system. They are the most used insecticide today. Bees can come in contact with this deadly substance when they collect poisoned nectar, pollen or via contaminated water.This can disorient bees, cause them to lose their sense of direction and in higher doses it can cause paralysis and convulsion. If they make it to the hive they will carry the toxins with them and slowly kill the whole colony.

What are some of the factors affecting bee populations?






Parasites (varroa destructor):

One example of a parasite for bees is the Varroa Destructor. A varroa destructor is one of the many parasites that attack bees. It enters a bee larva cell and lays its eggs before the bees cover the cell with a wax lid. When the eggs hatch, the parasites feed on the developing bee. The bee chews his way out, which releases the parasites and the process starts again. The adult parasites also suck the fluids from a developed bee. The parasites can also carry diseases that weaken the bees and can lead to birth mutations like malformed wings. In only a couple months the numbers grow and it can lead to the collapse of a whole colony.

Crop monocultures:

Monoculture is the tilling of land for a single crop, one example of this can be a monoculture of wheat. Monocultures can also have many ecological implications because of its destruction of local biodiversity, meaning the many bees searching for their food. These vast plains use wind to pollinate themselves which makes less food available for bees. This can lead to the decrease in a population of bees.

Other causes:

One other factor is the stress that human enviroments put on bees, the noise and chaotic places disrupt bees and cause them to be confused. Another reason is the lack of genetic diversity, this happens when bee populations are low, creating less chance for different bees to mate with the queen bee.

One way that you can help sustain the bee population where you live is by not using pesticides on your flowers and plants, buy organic foods, and, of course, plant bee friendly flowers in your garden. My project is based off this way to help bees, however, a problem arises when you don't have a garden or any place to plant these flowers. To combat this problem, I am creating 3 different designs for different situation, one for small balconies, one for average/large balconies and one for large spaces that have no grass/earth to plant flowers in.

How can you help sustain the bee population where you live?