Bees: a lot of people fear them, but it would be a grim world indeed if we had to live without them. The scarier but actually much more helpful and agreeable cousin of the wasp, the bee is a badass among creation. Bees create complex societies and build massive hives to live in. They sometimes grow and shed their wings. They sacrifice themselves for a queen. They make delicious honey that a lot of humans throughout history had to use as the ultimate sweetener (sugar cane not having reached their homelands yet).
Best of all, bees pollinate all sorts of plants. This is an essential component of the circle of life for a huge variety of crops, flowers, trees and bushes. With more and more of the calories humans consume coming from fewer main crops, the role of bees is becoming ever more important to us, and their protection and survival should be a very high priority indeed. Sadly, neonicotinoid pesticides used excessively throughout the world have seriously damaged bee populations, and better practices to protect bees are only just now becoming clear. What we can say for sure are two things: one, if the bees go, many of us will go with them; and two, the more we know about them, the better we can do by them.
Let's make sure you've got your bee knowledge down, so we can help our black-and-yellow little friends thrive in this crazy modern world.
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