It is estimated that one third of the food that we consume each day relies on pollination mainly by bees.
Many domestic and imported fruits and vegetables require pollination as do many flowering food crops in the UK, for example: apples, pears, field beans, runner and dwarf beans, broad beans, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and oil seed rape, with 39 commercial crops reliant on bees in total. Even if a crop is not directly pollinated by a honey bee, the crop still benefits indirectly from being in an environment in which honey bees are working, due to the increased biodiversity in the area which stimulates the crop.
Honey bees can also pollinate clover and alfalfa, which are fed to cattle, so there are implications for the meat and dairy industry too. And that is not to mention the huge range of manufactured food products made from all these ingredients.
Honey bees play a significant role in the pollination of other important crops such as cotton and flax.
In addition to the honey produced by the honey bee there are also a number of valuable non-food apiary products, such as pollen, queen substance, propolis and beeswax; used in cleaning and beauty products.