The humble honey bee is a pillar of the environment and is responsible for the pollination of over 400 different types of agricultural plant 70 of which being crops. Among these include fruit trees/plants, vegetables, flowers, alfalfa (which is used to feed cattle and other livestock) and even cotton which equates to 35% of the Worlds fibre usage. With one third of food being dependant on pollination I think you will agree that that bees are extremely important.
Humans have relied on bees to help cultivate their crops for thousands of years. The ancient Egyptians would transport their hives up and down the Nile to pollinate their farm land. They were such a big part of the culture that the Egyptians would bury their loved ones with pots of honey in order to ‘sweeten’ the afterlife.
It wasn’t just the Egyptians that recognised the importance of bees in agriculture. When the great European explorers would set off to discover new lands such as the America’s and Australasia, they were sure to take their honey hives. This was to ensure that once their crops began to grow they could feed their settling families for years to come.
If honey bees who are the most productive and efficient of all of the pollinators (143 items pollinated), were to disappear overnight the knock on effect to the planet would be monumental. Without bees our everyday food choices would be a thing of the past. The majority of our fresh fruits and vegetables would be no more along with our beef and dairy products. This in turn would have an adverse effect on our diets and overall nutrition, leading to health problems and famine.
Mankind’s relationship with logistics has many parallels with that of bees. Logistics is extremely important to our way of life. Man has been involved with logistics ever since the first Homo sapiens returned home with the prize from their hunt to share with their families. Logistics!
The essence of logistics is the movement of a product from its source by any means to an end user or consumer. Without this staple of industry, it’s not just food that would be unobtainable, it’s pretty much everything. There would be no new electronics, clothes, fuel or even transport. Everything that we have, use or need has been in the logistics chain at some point. Whether it has come from your local farm shop or from the other side of the world by plane or boat. Did you know that 60% of the UK’s food is imported by road, sea or air every day? It makes you realise just how much the logistics industry does to provide everything we take for granted on a daily basis.
Bees are one of the hardest working creatures on the planet and to logistics is certainly one of the hardest working professions. They are rarely thanked and often taken for granted but I think that we can all agree that the world would be a different place without either of them. I dread to imagine a world without either of them!