The life of a bee, like any animal, is priceless. But, what is more, these animals play a crucial role in ecosystems, as pollinators. Without bees, the consequences for our planet would be disastrous.
The so-called honey bees, just one type of bee among more than 20,000 species around the world, use pollen to feed themselves and their offspring. Royal jelly is the main food of the queen bee, whose role is critical in developing the hive. Propolis is used to make the necessary repairs to the structure of the hive and to hold certain parts in place. As we can see, nothing is left to chance, everything has a purpose and everything is used by these animals to satisfy their needs.
The social structure of bees has been widely studied as it is very interesting. They are organised into a perfect hierarchy and they all have a social function to carry out in order to ensure the survival of the hive. In other words, individual interests are less important than the general wellbeing of the community.
There are three types of bees: queens, workers and drones. They each have very clearly defined social roles, which allows bees to always work together. A good example of this is the way in which worker bees protect the queen when there is a drop in temperature in their home, they keep her warm by moving their wings and using their body heat.
On bee farms there are several factors which may be harmful to bees: a badly ventilated hive and lack of water or food (excess production tires them out and a lack of nutrients weakens them). In some centres they even kill the queens once they get old.
It may be difficult to empathise with a bee, given that we know little about them, but just because they are small it doesn’t mean they are unimportant. Their lives are all they have and because of the important role they play in our society, their protection is not only the right thing to do, but also the smart thing to do.