Learn All About Bees and Ways to Help Save Them

Posted on April 24, 2019

by April S

If you’re like me, you know bees are important to our ecosystem, but you don’t really know a lot about bees. There are a lot of news articles out there in recent years talking about bees dying and what that would mean in the lives of us all. And without knowing more about the bee/human connection – it can seem pretty scary to say the least. Really, what does the average person know about bees? Why are bees important? What factors are contributing to a decline in bee populations? What do bees need to survive and thrive in our world? Knowledge is power. So, let’s learn more about bees together. I don’t know about you, but I’d like to learn more about what we can all do to save the bees!

Learn All About Bees

5 Questions About Bees Answered

Photo of a bee on a flower covered in pollen

1. How many species of bees are there in the world?

Did you know that most of our ideas about bees are based on one species – the European honeybee? There are actually over 20,000 species of bees worldwide.

To learn more:

Bee Information for Kids – Pest World for Kids

The Truth About Bees – BBC Earth

How to Identify Different Types of Bees – Mother Nature Network

Ohio Bee Identification Guide – Ohioline (Ohio State University Extension)

2. Do all bees sting?

No. Actually, some bees are not capable of stinging. Male bees cannot sting and while some females have stingers some of them are not able to sting either. And the bees that actually do sting – will only sting if they are provoked or feel threatened. If you’ve ever been stung, it most likely wasn’t from a bee, but instead a wasp or yellow jacket. Typically, bees are not interested in people (unless their hive is threatened).

To learn more:

11 Things People Believe About Bees That Aren’t True – Noble Research Institute

What’s the Difference Between a Bee and a Wasp? – Britannica

Yellow Jackets and Honeybees: What’s the Difference? – WTOP

3. Do all bees make honey?

No, only the honey bee makes honey. Honey bees are also super-important pollinators. They pollinate flowers, fruits and vegetables. Basically, they help other plants grow.

To learn more:

Fun Facts About Honey Bees – Countryside Network

10 Facts About Honey Bees – National Geographic Kids

4. How long have bees been around?

It seems that scientists are still trying to figure that out. However, according to a recent article by Scientific American, the first bees may have appeared more than 130 million years ago. And according to the Ontario Beekeepers’ Association, honey was found in the tombs of Egypt. Very interesting indeed!

To learn more:

Neat Facts About Bees – Ontario Beekeepers’ Assocation

The Beguiling History of Bees – Scientific American

5. Why are bees dying?

There are many factors, but the main culprits seem to be pesticides, parasites, loss of habitat, climate change and disease. It’s pretty scary to consider what would happen if all the bees died off. But knowledge is power – learn more about why bees are dying and what you can do to help bees thrive and survive.

To learn more:

The Buzz About Colony Collapse Disorder – NRDC

Why Are Honeybees Dying Off? – Sierra

Why Are the Bees Dying – PBS

Kids – Read These Books

Bees matter / by Erika Wassall
Explore My World : Honey Bees by Jill Esbaum
Bees by Leo Statts
Bees by Karen Latchana Kenney
Bees by Katie Gillespie

Adults – Read These Books on the History of Bees

A Short History of the Honeybee by Edward Readicker-Henderson
Letters from the hive : an intimate history of bees, honey, and humankind / Stephen Buchmann with Banning Repplier
A Sting in the Tale by Dave Goulson

This is part of a series of blog posts about bees. We hope you find them informative.

Additional Online Resources

Conservation Work for Honeybees – USDA / NRCS

How to Save the Bees – Popular Science

Plan and Plant a Bee-Friendly Garden

Featured Image Credit:

Image by Michael Siebert from Pixabay.

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