Q:

Why are bees important to humans?

A:

Quick Answer

Humans rely on bees to pollinate one-sixth of the world's flowering plants, as well as about 400 different species of plants important in agriculture. In 2010, the pollinating services of bees helped to produce nearly $20 million in agriculture in the United States alone.

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Full Answer

The modern food system relies on bees to make it work efficiently. Bees facilitate plant reproduction and in many cases, the plants they pollinate would not be able to reproduce without them. This is especially true of bees as pollinators because they tend to focus on one type of plant during an outing. That means that the plants receive much higher quality pollination from the same species as opposed to if the bees pollinated several types of plants during an outing, leading to some plants not being pollinated at all.

Some foods that would disappear if bees were no longer around include broccoli, cucumbers, pumpkins, almonds, apples, cranberries and much more. Another food that would cease to exist is honey. Honey is a by-product of the bees' pollination activities and is stored for their own winter food. Humans also enjoy it as a sweetener or topping. Honey has antibacterial and antioxidant properties important to human health.

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