April Showers Bring May Flowers – Honey Bees & Pollination

Posted by National Honey Board on May 22, 2017

Beeflower

We've all heard the phrase - "April showers bring May flowers" - and really, what's better than walking into a beautiful garden and being immersed in the colors and fragrances of all the flowers surrounding you? You can thank a honey bee for that!

Did you know that honey bees are a critical component of today's agricultural market? Well it's true! Our honey bees do so much more than just create the liquid gold we all know and love.

In addition to making honey, honey bees also perform the vital function - a second shift as we like to call it - of pollination, or the transferring of pollen from plant to plant, thus fertilizing the plants and enabling them to bear fruit. Without the honey bees' pollination work, the quantity and quality of many crops would be reduced and some would not yield at all.

Here's a fun fact: about one-third of the U.S. diet is derived from insect-pollinated plants and honey bees are responsible for about 80 percent of that process.

Honey bees visit millions of blossoms in their lifetimes, and are premier pollinators because they are available throughout the growing season and pollinate a wide range of crops.

Some crops that depend on honey bees for pollination are:

  • Alfalfa Seed
  • Almond
  • Apple
  • Avocado
  • Blueberry
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cherry
  • Cranberry
  • Cucumber
  • Honeydew
  • Kiwi Fruit
  • Pear
  • Plum
  • Sunflower
  • Vegetable Seed
  • Watermelon

So the next time you see a beautiful sunflower, munch on an almond or feel that sticky watermelon juice dripping down your chin, be sure to thank a honey bee!