The Wide World of Bees
While the first - and sometimes only - bee species that many people think of is the honeybee, the truth is that there are over 20,000 species of bees in the world, 4,000 of which are native to North America alone. From Bumblebees to Carpenter Bees to Mason Bees to Squash Bees, the variation of bee species is vast and fascinating.
In truth, no two bee species are at all alike. While some species are social and live in large hives (like the honeybee), others are solitary and live in burrows in the ground or hallowed-out logs. While some species sting in order to protect themselves, others may not sting at all. We invite you to explore the wide world of bees and determine which species is your favorite.
A Relationship Like No Other
Bees and humans have been closely connected since the beginning of civilization. From the creation story of the Kalahari Desert’s San people to the coinage of the Greek Empire, bees have played a major part in the lives of mankind.
Today, it’s not uncommon to know a family member that keeps bees, a close friend that’s researched this fascinating insect, or to buy goods from a business that produces goods with the gifts like honey and beeswax that bees bestow upon us. Truthfully, bees continue to become a more important part of our lives, and this trend shows no sign of slowing down.
Bees and Pollination
As pollinators, bees play an enormous role in the reproduction of flowering plants. From sunflowers to asters and black-eyed susans to mexican-hats, a large majority of the plants in the gardens that brighten our lives with their beauty rely on bees in order to reproduce.
This extends to the plants that we rely on to provide us with food. In fact, 1/3 of every meal that you eat was made by possible by the work of these busy pollinators. While it’s easy to guess some of the foods that are dependent on bees - such as apples, oranges, tomatoes, or cucumbers - others - such as almonds, coffee, and garlic - aren’t as obvious.
So, the next time you stop to enjoy raindrops on roses or a warm meal with family and friends, make sure to say a quick thank you to the bees!