Don’t be afraid: Bees bring more help than harm

The conditioned fear of bees is harmful; bees are necessary for the planet.


A bee is pollinating a plant.

Sitting in a classroom listening to a lecture or a presentation, there is a tired quiet in the room, a peaceful quiet that is quickly disrupted by a faint but ominous buzzing of a honey bee.

It’s hard to believe that such a small creature can cause such hysteria. However, we have all been in a situation like this; whether you were a part of the frantic screaming and swatting or if you were simply observing the witch hunt, we have all seen the effect bees have on a large percent of the population.

According to Healthline, 12.5% of adults suffer from a specific phobia. One of those phobias is “melissophobia,” the fear of bees. According to Very Well Health and many other professionals that specialize in phobias learning about bees can help with that irrational fear.

Why are honey bees necessary? They are little insects and they intimidate us, buzzing around in the summer. A lot of people are conditioned to be afraid of bees, but have you ever stopped to think about all that bees do for us and the planet as a whole? Have you ever stopped to think about how different the world would be without bees?

​According to the MSU Native Plants and Ecosystem Services, “The main insect pollinators, by far, are bees.”

Bees are the perfect pollinators; they travel flower to flower eating the nectar inside that they need to live, all while the small hairs that cover their body are collecting and carrying pollen to other plants ensuring the cross pollination the plants require to continue to reproduce.

The danger to bees is that people see them just as insects. They see them all the time and view them as annoying or intimidating, but in reality bees are most often not even aware of us. It is our responsibility to be aware of them and make sure that the earth remains a suitable place for them to live.

Life without bees would be a completely different world than the one we know today. According to the Planet Bee Foundation, nearly 90% of plant species rely on pollinators. That 90% of plants make up around one third of our food supply as well as the cotton that is used to make clothes, medicine and food for wildlife, in addition to absorbing the carbon dioxide gasses from the atmosphere. Life without bees would be a whole different world.

I recall watching The Bee Movie when I was younger, a film made in 2007 and directed by Simon J. Smith and Steve Hickner. The movie follows the main character Barry, a bee who decides to convince the bees in his hive and around the world to stop making honey. The flowers start to die out and the world itself begins to wilt. While sure, it is a kids’ movie, it still holds a good message that has definitely stuck with me, that pollinators make an important contribution to the world.

So, how can we as humans maintain suitable habitats for honey bees? The Xerces Society, who work to inform people about preserving habitats, say that bees need places with lots of leaves to nest.

When people think of bees, they often think of insects flying around or living in hives in the trees. In actuality, 70% of native bees nest underground, according to a study by The Xerces Society. Assisting bees in what is called “ground nesting” is as simple as leaving a small portion of your property undisturbed for the bees to inhabit. In return, having bees nesting under your yard is great for improving soil quality.

Rather than just sitting around and imagining how we would survive without them, why not try our hardest to protect the bees? We have the ability to set aside our fears and begin working to save them.

This poll has ended.

Are you scared of bees?


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