Bees are primarily important for their role as pollinators. Considered to be the best pollinators, they’re responsible for pollinating many flowering plants. Without them, many plants will be negatively impacted and possibly die off.
In this article, we’ll learn more about the importance of bees as we discuss the following:
- Other reasons why bees are important
- A world without bees
- Bee decline
- How can we help bees
Other Reasons Why Bees Are Important
Aside from being important pollinators, bees are also important for the following reasons:
Bees contribute to the overall biodiversity of ecosystems. As pollinators, they help in the reproduction and survival of different plant species. These plants include wildflowers, shrubs, and trees. Hence, they play a significant role in ensuring biodiversity in the wild and gardens.
Bees also promote the genetic diversity of these plants. This help plants become more adaptable and resilient to changing conditions. Ultimately, they give plants a better chance to survive.
These plants then in turn provide food and shelter for other animals. Meaning, bees indirectly support the survival of these animals as well.
Overall, bees help sustain the health and resilience of ecosystems.
Bees are important bioindicators due to their sensitivity to changes in the environment. Their health and behavior can reflect the overall health of ecosystems. They can help detect the quality of air, water, and soil.
Monitoring their populations can help identify potential environmental issues and their solutions. They provide insights into pesticide contamination, diseases or parasites, and climate change.
Bees play a crucial role in agricultural systems by pollinating crops. Along with other pollinators, they support around 35% of agricultural land. They pollinate most of the world’s leading food crops like fruits, vegetables, and nuts.
Here are some crops pollinated by bees:
Additionally, bees produce honey, a sweet delicious food many of us love to eat.
Bees produce several products that provide health benefits. These products include honey, beeswax, royal jelly, and even bee venom.
Not only is honey delicious, but it also provides many health benefits. Honey has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. For example, honey has antimicrobial properties that make it effective for treating wounds. It’s also said to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anticancer properties. 
Note, however, that some of these are anecdotal. Further research is necessary to confirm whether these benefits are indeed true. Regardless, here are some health benefits of honey:
- Anti-bacterial properties: Honey has natural antibacterial properties which can help to fight against harmful bacteria. It can be used topically to treat wounds and prevent infections.
- Soothes sore throat: Honey can provide relief for a sore throat due to its anti-inflammatory properties. It can also help to suppress coughing and reduce throat irritation.
- Boosts energy: Honey is a natural source of carbohydrates. It can be a healthier alternative to processed sugars and artificial energy drinks.
- Supports digestive health: Honey can aid in digestion by promoting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. It can also help to soothe digestive issues such as indigestion and stomach ulcers.
- Boosts immune system: Honey contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that help strengthen the immune system. It can help protect against common illnesses such as colds and flu.
- Promotes better sleep: Consuming honey before bed can help to promote better sleep. It can increase the release of serotonin, which gets converted into melatonin. This hormone is responsible for regulating sleep.
- Helps with allergies: Local honey can potentially help to reduce allergy symptoms. It does so by exposing the body to small amounts of pollen, which can lessen sensitivity over time.
- Improves skin health: Honey has moisturizing and antibacterial properties that can help to improve skin health. It can be used as a natural remedy for acne, dry skin, and other skin conditions.
- Reduces inflammation: The anti-inflammatory properties in honey can help to reduce inflammation in the body. This can be beneficial for conditions such as arthritis and bowel inflammation.
- Provides antioxidants: Honey contains various antioxidants that help protect the body against cell damage. This can help to prevent chronic diseases and promote overall health.
Beeswax is a natural substance produced by honeybees. It is derived from the wax glands of worker bees and is used by them to build honeycomb cells. People have used beeswax for its potential health benefits for thousands of years.
These health benefits include the following:
- Moisturizing properties: Beeswax contains natural emollients that provide long-lasting moisture to the skin. It forms a protective barrier on the skin’s surface that helps retain moisture.
- Anti-inflammatory properties: Beeswax has anti-inflammatory effects that help soothe and calm irritated or inflamed skin. It can be beneficial for conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis.
- Antibacterial and antifungal properties: Beeswax contains certain compounds that exhibit antibacterial and antifungal properties. These properties protect the skin from infections and promote wound healing.
- Natural sunscreen: Beeswax can provide a certain degree of protection against harmful UV rays from the sun.
- Skin softening and conditioning: Beeswax can soften and condition the skin, making it smoother and more supple. It enhances skin elasticity and helps reduce the signs of aging.
Note that while beeswax has potential health benefits, individual experiences may vary.
Royal jelly is a thick, creamy substance produced by worker bees to feed the queen bee. It is highly nutritious and contains proteins, vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. Some potential health benefits of royal jelly include:
- Boosting the immune system: Royal jelly can enhance the immune system’s response to foreign bacteria and viruses. This helps fight off infections and diseases.
- Improving skin health: Royal jelly can promote collagen production and skin regeneration. This results in improved skin health and a more youthful appearance.
- Enhancing brain function: Some studies suggest royal jelly may have neuroprotective effects. This helps improve memory and cognitive function. It can support brain health and protect against neurodegenerative diseases.
- Increasing energy and stamina: Royal jelly is rich in carbohydrates which provide energy. It may help combat fatigue and increase endurance and stamina.
- Reducing inflammation: Royal jelly can help alleviate symptoms of inflammatory conditions like arthritis. It also promotes overall joint health.
- Supporting cardiovascular health: Royal jelly contains fatty acids that positively impact cholesterol levels. It may also have a positive impact on blood pressure regulation.
- Enhancing fertility: Some studies suggest that royal jelly may have positive effects on reproductive health. Specifically, it helps with fertility issues related to hormonal imbalances.
Bee venom is a clear, acidic liquid that is produced by honeybees. It contains various components such as enzymes, peptides, and amino acids. When a bee stings, it injects venom into the skin, which causes pain and inflammation.
However, bee venom has potential health benefits when used in medical settings. Here are a few:
- Anti-inflammatory effects: Certain components of bee venom, like melittin, have anti-inflammatory properties. This may help in reducing inflammation associated with conditions like chronic inflammatory diseases. 
- Skin conditions: Bee venom is often used as a cosmetic to combat several skin diseases. These diseases include atopic dermatitis, acne vulgaris, alopecia, vitiligo, and psoriasis. 
- Allergies: Bee venom is used in immunotherapy treatments for bee sting allergies. Gradual exposure to bee venom can build up tolerance and reduce the severity of reactions.
Despite these benefits, bee venom therapy should only be administered by trained professionals. Improper use or self-administration can lead to allergic reactions or other adverse effects.
As pollinators, bees have significant economic value. Estimates suggest bees contribute billions of dollars yearly to the global economy.
Honeybees, for example, are valued at $20 billion in annual revenue. They play a significant role in pollinating crops like almonds, blueberries, and many more.
The products they produce like honey and beeswax also drive millions in value. They’re used in many commercial applications like food, creams, and lotions.
Bees are slowly disappearing. Most, if not all, bee species are experiencing population decline. This has led to some bees being critically endangered or at risk of extinction.
Bee decline is attributed to the following threats:
- Climate change
- Habitat loss
- Poor nutrition
- Pesticides and irresponsible agriculture
See this article to learn more about these threats and why bees are endangered.
How Can We Help Bees?
As you now know, bees are vital to survival. Hence, we must protect and conserve their populations. Only then can they continue providing for us and our ecosystems.
Here are some ways to help bees:
- Protect bee habitat: Sustainable land use will help keep bee habitats intact. We must put effort into land conservation and prevent deforestation.
- Urban gardens: Plant plants and flowers in your garden. This will create a safe space for bees in urban environments.
- Reduce the use of pesticides: Sustainable agricultural practices create safer environments for bees. Organic farming and using fewer pesticides will make sure they don’t die from toxins.
- Don’t destroy hives: While hives can be scary, choose to have them relocated instead. Call your local beekeeper instead of the exterminators.
Summary: Why are Bees Important?
To summarize, bees are important as pollinators. As such, they help maintain biodiversity, produce food, and contribute to the economy. Their decline or loss would have consequences for natural ecosystems and human societies.