Sustainable beekeeping is the key to assure the welfare of honeybees. Health resides in the whole honeybee population of a region and not just an individual colony. Honeybees require widespread, viable populations to retain population diversity and colony flexibility. However, beekeepers have often focused on their own apiaries, whilst ignoring wider welfare.
For thousands of years beekeeping has been a skill utilizing low-impact technologies to deliver great benefits to people and biodiversity. The need for sustainable beekeeping and more natural practices has been introduced only in the last hundred years since honey production and pollination of monocultures have been a priority over the health of the super organism and wider bee populations. Humans cease to realize the importance of bees in lives and in securing the environment. Let’s talk about the 3 prime roles that honeybees play in securing the environment.
Key Roles of Honeybees:
- Spreading pollen and fertilizing flowers as well as crucial agricultural crops
- A single honeybee colony can pollinate over 100 million flowers in a day
- Over one-third of world’s food is pollinated by the bees
Though honeybees are wild insects, humans have been domesticating them in order to obtain honey and wax. The domestication of bees has developed a close relationship between bees and humans which began with honey hunting, grew into keeping bees in hives and eventually the science and art of beekeeping developed. With the initiation of monocultures and damaged natural environments humans now also keep bees for pollination. However, it is believed that there would have been a time when bees living in the wild would have filled this role adequately. Due to domestication of bees, the impact of humans on the welfare of honeybees has increased. Let’s further discuss the 3 ways humans affect the welfare of honeybees.