Written by Charlene V. Martoni
Illustrations by Teresa Hewitt
Published in VISITvortex
Honey bees are actually not native to North America, but neither are many of our crops and garden plants. Nevertheless, these little golden soldiers have become essential to our horticulture.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, honeybees are responsible for pollinating 80 percent of our flower crops, which accounts for one-third of everything we eat. Nuts, alfalfa, apple, cantaloupe, cranberry, pumpkin, sunflower, and many other delicious and healthy foods depend on pollination by honeybees.
Yet the USDA also said that honey bees and other pollinators have had to face increasing obstacles in recent years, including deformed wing virus, nosema fungi, new parasites, nutrition problems, and possible effects of pesticides. Continue reading