Why we need bees
The vast majority of plant species-- almost 90%, in fact-- rely on pollinators to reproduce. Pollination is the process by which pollinators help plants to produce fruit (technically anything with seeds on the inside, so that includes things we normally think of as vegetables, like cucumbers, green beans and tomatoes) by transporting pollen from one flower to another. There are approximately 200,000 different species of animals around the world that act as pollinators. Of these, about 1,000 are vertebrates, such as birds, bats, and small mammals, and the rest are invertebrates, including flies, beetles, butterflies, moths, and bees. Pollinators provide pollination services to over 180,000 different plant species.
Pollinators help plants survive, and plants:
Produce ⅓ of our food supply by giving us countless fruits, vegetables, and nuts
Provide ½ of the world’s oils, fibers (such as the cotton used to make clothes), and other raw materials
Are used to create many medicines
Provide food and cover for wildlife
Keep waterways clean
Prevent soil erosion
Produce the oxygen we breathe
Absorb CO2, counteracting global climate change
Globally, pollinators are responsible for pollinating more than 1,200 crops. 87 of the leading 115 food crops, or about 75%, depend on pollinators. Every year, pollinators contribute more than $217 billion to the global economy.