The Honey Bee is quite possibly the most famous insect in the world. It is naturally found throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa and then was later introduced to the Americas where it has spread widely through the continents. It’s had an important relationship with humans through all of recorded human history. The honey they produce has been an important food source to many cultures. Old stores of honey have been found in archeological digs of ancient sites and honey plays a key role in some very old mythologies. In modern times, the honey is commonly used as a sweetener and to brew mead.
The bees also serve as important pollinators. There are no plants that rely on them exclusively since there are other insects that will feed at the flowers, but the bees will arrive in large numbers and tend to focus on one species of flower at a time. This makes them excellent pollinators for species of plant that have a lot of flowers spread over a large area. In some cases, farmers will hire a beekeeper to bring a hive near their field. This allows the bees to roam over the farm for a time and helps increase crop yields.
Unfortunately, the bee population is in decline. Many suspect that it is due to the overuse of pesticides. There are some chemicals that are sprayed to kill insect pests that will harm the bees as well. The use of these chemicals as a broadcast spray will affect all nearby insect species and it is thought that foraging bees exposed to the chemical will bring it back to the next increasing the mortality of their larvae.