Bees for National Honey Bee Day
© Angela Parker/Offse
The buzz about bees. The buzz about bees
Even if most of the time you try to avoid bees—and, perhaps, even pictures of bees—you may want to make an exception today: it's National Honey Bee Day. Back in 2009, then-Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack officially recognized 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. Of these, only honey bees make honey, but all these industrious insects benefit humans by pollinating roughly a third of the crops we eat. Honey bees do most of the heavy lifting. In the US alone, each year domesticated honey bees pollinate about $20 billion worth of crops such as almonds, watermelons, blueberries, and more.Unfortunately, populations 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 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.'