Beneficial insects are any of a number of species of insects that perform valued services like pollination and pest control. The concept of beneficial is subjective and only arises in light of desired outcomes from a human perspective. In farming and agriculture, where the goal is to raise selected crops, insects that hinder the production process are classified as pests, while insects that assist production are considered beneficial.
Encouraging beneficial insects, by providing suitable living conditions, is a pest control strategy, often used in organic farming, organic gardening or Integrated Pest Management. Companies specializing in biological pest control sell many types of beneficial insects, particularly for use in enclosed areas, like greenhouses.
Bees are beneficial as pollinators, facilitating propagation and fruit production for many plants. While some bees are predatory or parasitic, killing pest insects. This group includes not only honeybees, but also many other kinds that are more efficient at pollinating. Bees can be attracted by many companion plants, especially bee balm and pineapple sage for honeybees, or apiaceae like queen anne's lace and parsley, for predatory bees.
Other insects commonly identified as beneficial include: