August 16 – National Honey Bee Day

Posted on August 16, 2014


Some of us fear them—and some people are so allergic to them, they have to carry around emergency medication because a bee sting could kill them.

Some of us spend our lives raising bees, and selling their honey.

But all of us depend on them, because around 250,000 species of flowering plants depend on bees for pollination. And many of these plants are crucial food crops! About a third of the foods we eat depend on pollination by bees!

  • Alfalfa
  • Almonds
  • Apples
  • Asparagus
  • Beans
  • Beets
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Buckwheat
  • Cabbage
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Cherries
  • Chestnuts
  • Chives
  • Clover
  • Cranberries
  • Cucumber
  • Currants
  • Eggplant
  • Flax
  • Garlic
  • Gooseberries
  • Grapes
  • Horseradish
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Mustard
  • Onions
  • Parsley
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Pumpkins
  • Radishes
  • Raspberries
  • Rhubarb
  • Squash
  • Strawberries
  • Sunflowers
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Turnip
  • Watermelon

In addition to food, many of our medicines come from flowering plants. And there's cotton! Jeans! T-shirts!

So, yeah, we all depend on bees. And what about all the birds and small mammals that feed on the berries and seeds of flowering plants. How many of them depend on bees for their own survival?

Hopefully I have convinced you that bees are really important. And unfortunately, bee populations are in freefall. All around the world, the western honeybee – which is not very aggressive and which makes a LOT of honey – has been suffering from parasites and viruses. Probably the bees' problems are made worse by modern agricultural practices and pesticide use.

Today is a great day to look into ways to help bees

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