Bees for National Honey Bee Day
© Angela Parker/Offse
Oh, honey!. The buzz about bees
Even if most of the time you try to avoid bees - and, perhaps, pictures of bees - you may want to make an exception today: it's National Honey Bee Day. Back in 2009, then US-Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack officially recognised this event to help raise awareness about the critical role bees play in the world's ecosystem and give a nod to the beekeeping industry. Around the world, there are over 20,000 species of bees, which include solitary bees, bumblebees, and honey bees. These industrious insects contribute to roughly a third of the world's food supply by pollinating crops. In America alone, domesticated honey bees pollinate about $20 billion worth of crops such as almonds, watermelons, blueberries, and more.Unfortunately, the population of bees and other insects have declined from historic levels due to a variety of factors, such as parasites, pathogens, pesticides, and the loss of habitat. What are some things you can do to help bees in particular? Plant bee-friendly flowers, avoid the use of pesticides in your garden, and buy local honey to support beekeepers in your area. Let's try to make the world 'bee nicer.'