Bees and agriculture

The bees are still firmly in the winter ball, but now is a good time to plan for next summer for the bees

 

Bees are an essential part of the world's ecosystem and their role in agriculture is irreplaceable. Beekeeping, or apiculture, has become a central part of agricultural practices around the world, as bees are the main pollinators of many plants, which are important sources of food for humans and maintainers of biodiversity. This article takes a closer look at the importance of bees in agriculture, the benefits they provide, and the challenges faced in the field of beekeeping.

The role of bees in agriculture

Bees are nature's most efficient pollinators, which makes them essential for plant reproduction and the preservation of genetic diversity. More than 75% of the world's leading food crops benefit to some extent from animal pollination, and bees play a key role in this. With the help of pollination, plants produce berries and fruits that are important for both human nutrition and wildlife diets.

Bee pollination not only increases the number of crops, but also improves their quality. For example, many fruits such as apples and strawberries develop better when pollinated by bees, resulting in larger and fuller berries and fruits. The economic value of bee pollination worldwide is estimated at billions of euros per year, which emphasizes their importance in global food production.

Benefits of bees for agriculture

The benefits of bees to agriculture are far-reaching. First, they help to increase yields for many important crops such as berries, fruits and so on. Second, bee pollination supports biodiversity and ecosystem health, which is vital for soil health and plant health. Third, bees contribute to food safety and nutritional diversity, as versatile and abundant crops are the basis for a healthy diet.

In addition, bees produce honey, wax, propolis and royal jelly, which are valuable products both nutritionally and economically. Honey is not only a popular natural sweetener, but also recognized for its health effects. Beeswax, on the other hand, is a prized ingredient in cosmetics and candles, while propolis and royal jelly are popular in natural products for their claimed health benefits.

The challenges of beekeeping are sufficient expertise, weather conditions and possible bee diseases if they are not addressed in time.

In Finland, for example, strawberry cultivation benefits greatly from bee pollination

Beekeeping provides significant benefits to strawberry farms, making it an integral part of modern agriculture. These benefits range from improving crop quantity and quality to promoting ecological sustainability. Here's a closer look at how beekeeping has a positive effect on strawberry cultivation:

Improved pollination and increased yield

Bees are efficient pollinators, and their activity in strawberry fields can significantly increase the number of berries. Strawberry flowers need cross-pollination to produce fruit, and bees help transfer pollen from flower to flower. This not only increases the number of fruits but also ensures that each fruit develops fully and reaches the desired size and shape.

Improving crop quality

Bee pollination has been shown to improve the quality of strawberries. Perfectly pollinated flowers produce more evenly shaped and larger strawberries compared to less or incompletely pollinated flowers. This not only increases the market value of strawberries, but also increases consumer satisfaction, as larger and prettier fruits are more attractive.

Maintaining plant genetic diversity

When bees pollinate strawberry flowers, they promote the exchange of genetic material between plants, which maintains and even increases the genetic diversity of varieties. This is important for adaptation to long-term cultivation and disease resistance, which can improve the sustainability and productivity of strawberry cultivation.

Reduced occurrence of diseases and pests

Healthy, bee-pollinated plants tend to be more resistant to disease and pests. When strawberries are pollinated effectively, they grow stronger and healthier, which can reduce the need for chemical pesticides. This reduces production costs and is better for both the environment and the health of consumers.

Promoting ecological balance and biodiversity

Beekeeping promotes ecological balance and biodiversity in cultivated areas. Bees not only pollinate strawberries, but also other plants in the area, supporting the wider ecosystem. This can help attract other beneficial insects and promote plant health and productivity.

So why use bees for pollination?

The benefits of beekeeping in strawberry cultivation are clear. Effective pollination by bees can significantly increase the yield and improve the quality of berries and fruits. In addition, beekeeping supports the preservation of biodiversity and ecological sustainability.

Where can you find a good beekeeper and buy pollination services and why should you buy pollination services from a professional?

At Hunaja Hetke, we can guide you on how to find pollinators in different parts of Finland thanks to our contacts. It is important to get the pollination service from a professional who knows how to calculate the necessary number of nests for the crop area, the right time and the correct placement of the nests and knowledge of the terrain in the area.

If you have any questions or want to hear more about pollination or the benefits of agriculture, please contact us!