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Bees are incredibly important for our ecology and provide numerous benefits to ecosystems. Here are some reasons why bees are considered good for our ecology:


1. Pollination: Bees are renowned pollinators and play a crucial role in the reproduction of flowering plants. As bees visit flowers to collect nectar and pollen, they inadvertently transfer pollen from the male reproductive organs (stamen) to the female reproductive organs (pistil) of other flowers, facilitating fertilization and seed production. This process is vital for the reproduction of a wide range of plants, including many crops, wildflowers, and trees. Approximately 75% of global food crops depend, at least in part, on pollinators like bees.


2. Biodiversity Support: Bees contribute to biodiversity by pollinating a diverse array of plant species. They help maintain the genetic diversity of plant populations, promoting resilience and adaptation to environmental changes. Additionally, the presence of bees in ecosystems supports the survival of other wildlife that rely on those plants for food and habitat.


3. Food Production: Bees are essential for agricultural systems and food production. They play a key role in pollinating fruit trees, vegetables, nuts, and oilseed crops. Without bee pollination, many crops would have significantly reduced yields or fail altogether, leading to food shortages and economic losses.


4. Habitat Creation: Bees, particularly solitary bee species, contribute to habitat creation. They build nests in various locations such as soil, wood, or plant stems. These nests provide shelter for the bees and create habitats that support other organisms, including other pollinators, beneficial insects, and even cavity-nesting birds.


5. Ecosystem Stability: The presence of bees helps maintain ecological balance and stability. Through their pollination services, bees contribute to the overall health and functioning of ecosystems. They enhance plant reproduction, seed production, and the maintenance of plant communities, which, in turn, support other animals and contribute to the stability of ecological processes.


6. Genetic Diversity and Adaptation: Bees are known for their diverse species and genetic variations. This genetic diversity enables populations to adapt to changing environmental conditions, such as climate change and habitat disturbances. Maintaining healthy bee populations and conserving their genetic diversity is crucial for the long-term resilience and survival of both bees and the ecosystems they inhabit.


It's important to note that bees are facing significant challenges, including habitat loss, pesticide exposure, climate change, and diseases. Taking measures to protect and conserve bees is not only crucial for their survival but also essential for the health and functioning of ecosystems and our food systems.

Find out more about our British bees here: BEES

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NATHAN SLATE, SCULPTURE TRAIL is an EMERGE commission for Bridgwater Quayside Festival 2023. Supported by Fuse Perfomance, Somerset Outdoor Arts and Arts Council England.

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