“Do you guys keep bees?” is a fairly common question at Farmstead Creamery. And not a surprising one, given the dire state of honeybees nationwide. Pollinating insects — which include all kinds of bees and butterflies — are an essential part of our ecosystem. As they buzz or flit from flower to flower, gathering nectar and pollen for their young, their fuzzy bodies drag pollen with them, which rubs off on the blooms they visit.
This pollination process allows the blossoms to become fruit — apples, berries, squashes, beans, cucumbers, cherries, nuts and more rely on insects to bear fruit. Even the tongues of hummingbirds have been shown to carry pollen in a beneficial way. Without the hard work of all these tiny helpers, at least one-third of all the foods we eat would cease to exist.