As World Honey Market enters its fifteenth year of operations, our mission statement becomes more and more relevant as we continue to strive to uphold these core tenants of our company. Since the beginning, our mission has been to harvest and distribute the highest quality, pure raw honey from around the globe. In addition, we are committed to protecting the honeybee through examples and education while teaching and promoting sustainable beekeeping and offering solutions to the massive issues that honeybees face globally, giving us a stage to collaborate and share knowledge on a grand scale.
One of the core values and objectives is our commitment to honey bee populations, not just locally but across the nation and abroad.
It may not be common knowledge that the honey bee can only survive in many parts of the world with the assistance of a beekeeper. In many places, wild colonies have dwindled to the brink of extinction. This is in large part to due to modern agricultural practices. What were once massive expanses of land with rich floral and plant varieties now grow a single crop. To put it in perspective, imagine a thousand restaurants of your choosing vanishing and leaving you and everyone else to try and eat from a single establishment.
Thus is the conundrum of bees. Thousands of plants providing nectar and pollen for the honey bee and many other insects, along with woodlands, have disappeared in the name of progress. Where traditionally, a honey bee colony would find its home in the hollow trunk of a tree, this real estate no longer exists. This reduction of biodiversity and decrease in animal populations has a substantial environmental impact.
Sustaining honey bee numbers means encouraging the pollination of crops they may not have depended on or relied on on a much smaller scale. Different insects will visit some flora varieties; the honey bee can only pollinate others. Honey bees are incredibly efficient and effective pollinators. When a scout bee has discovered a source of pollen or nectar, many of the bees from their hive will then visit the same plant multiple times. Honey bees will always pollinate the whole flower; this enables it to produce perfect fruit. Poor pollination is one of the prime reasons you might see something odd looking from a farmers' market or greengrocer.
Commercial beekeepers like World Honey Market often have hundreds or thousands of hives that can be moved near crops at precisely the right time for pollination. Location and scheduling can increase yields dramatically; this is one of the benefits of our pollenation services, which we offer across the United States.
Across the globe, in areas where they have eradicated the native honey bee population due to the excessive use of pesticides and loss of habitat, farms are forced to employ workers to hand pollinate the crops. But, again, a hugely inferior and costly method compared to insect pollination.
This is why we have begun training students worldwide in the art of beekeeping right here in our own backyard. Our students come from all around the world. They are highly motivated and willing to learn American commercial beekeeping practices in hopes of taking their knowledge back to their families and countries of origin to begin their beekeeping enterprise.
We offer support and encouragement, and opportunities to continue their relationship with World Honey Market beyond their time in the states. We are proud to extend support throughout their career and provide a training facility to teach students all aspects of the business, from honey bee and colony nutritional training to additional emphasis on farm machinery and mechanical maintenance. For World Honey Market, saving the bees is genuinely a global commitment.
But why is it so important to us? Because it is vital to ALL of us.
While we are all aware that honeybees exist, that's as far as the knowledge goes for most; it is an excellent reminder of how wonderfully beneficial the art of beekeeping is to the environment across the board.
We mentioned earlier that bees are efficient pollinators, but why is that important? Pollination is how plants reproduce. When bees feed on one plant, some of the pollen from the plant sticks to the bee's body. When that bee lands on a second plant, some of that pollen falls into the second plant's reproductive system. This process is known as pollination. It is the only process by which plants can create new seeds that will eventually give rise to new plants. As such, pollinators are critical to maintaining plant life.
Although bees are the only pollinators in nature, they are among the most prolific. They are by far responsible for the most significant percentage of global pollination. This simple cause and effect suggest that maintaining bee populations is critical to maintaining active pollination. Thus, beekeeping is a big part of supporting plant life by keeping bee pollinators alive and actively pollinating.
The world's beekeepers lend their bees to farmers looking for help pollinating their crops. If not for bees, worldwide food production would look very different. If our agricultural efforts were not as successful as they currently are, human beings would have to look for alternative food sources. Without a doubt, that would have a negative impact on the environment.
As much as some people may not view agriculture contributing to the environment, it does. Agriculture is what sustains humanity as we know it. We are as much a part of the environment as any other creature, so maintaining our food supply positively contributes to the environment by keeping us fed.
Pollination also exists in the wild. All those wildflowers and natural grasses you see as you drive down a country lane exist because pollinators make it happen. Beekeeping contributes to all those wild plants by stabilizing bee populations so that there are enough pollinators to keep things going.
When beekeepers talk about pollination "in the wild," they refer to all non-agricultural pollination. Therefore, pollination in the wild includes plant life found in cities and towns. However, it isn't just farmlands and pristine meadows. Beekeeping in the country promotes pollination across vast fields and dense forests. In more urban and suburban environments, it supports pollination in the same areas where most of us live.
One important thing to remember is that bees do not pollinate just for their sake. Pollination results from bees searching for food they can take back to the nest. As they feed, they pollinate.
Unfortunately for the bees, the circle of life is an unrelenting one. Bees also provide food. As uncomfortable as the natural food chain might be, it is reality. And without bees as a food source, many of their predators would struggle to find enough food.
What kinds of creatures prey on honeybees? Other insects such as wasps, hornets, dragonflies, and praying mantises are more than you might think. Spiders, reptiles, and amphibians all prey on honey bees. The predators also include birds, small mammals, and even bears!
Countless other species rely on bees as a food source.
When bee populations fall for whatever reason, these predators are forced to find food elsewhere, disrupting the food chain's natural workings.
Just like the loss of agricultural opportunities would change the way human beings eat, dwindling bee populations affect how bee predators eat. Those effects are felt down the food chain.
One link in the chain ultimately disrupts all of them.
Beekeeping contributes to the environment by helping to balance the food chain. Maintaining healthy bee populations ensures that predators have an ample supply to feed on, keeping their numbers stable. This, in turn, creates stability all along the food chain.
Keeping the circle of life going requires maintaining nature's delicate balance. Pollination contributes to that balance; so does predation. Just in those two things alone, bees contribute a tremendous amount to the circle of life. By extension, beekeeping helps the environment by keeping one small segment of the process of life spinning.
We are all intrinsically tied together within nature. The world would probably still survive even if bee populations ultimately died out, but the quality of that survival would be in question.
This is why our mission is so critical.