Bzzzz! Springtime is really a magical time of year. After a cold and rainy winter, the grass is growing, animals are gathering, and flowers are blooming! With the return of the flowers, comes the return of the pollinators as their habitats flourish. There is no greater pollinator on Earth than the honey bee, but this adorable little labor force comes with a venomous stinger that can really pack a punch. Can someone truly enjoy all the wonders Spring has to offer if they’re afraid of bees? What can someone do to stay safe from bees, and does getting stung risk any good the bees provide?
What Do Bees Even Do?
Bees play an incredibly important role on our planet and in the food chain. As the most abundant pollinator on our planet, they are responsible for a great amount of plant reproduction. Most importantly to us, that means they’re responsible for the growth of fruits and vegetables we consume on a daily basis. As bees travel from flower to flower collecting pollen and nectar to take back to their hive, the pollen they carry mixes with pollen on new flowers. This causes the flower to become pollinated, and will then bear fruit or seeds. This process takes place for nearly every fruit and vegetable in the grocery store. Even the food in the boxes requires grains, seeds, fruits, or other plant-based food that depends on bees for its production. Without bees, and other pollinators like butterflies and hummingbirds, our planet would be far less capable of supporting life, including humans!
Not only do we rely on the work of the bees to create our food, we also eat their food! After a bee collects nectar and pollen, they return to the hive where the water is taken from the nectar and the nectar is then stored as honey. This is food for the hive and comprised of the pollen and nectar of all the nearby plants, trees, and flowers. Many allergists believe that eating local honey is a great way to fight against seasonal pollen-based allergies, although this hasn’t been proven.
Still Afraid of Bees, Can I Swat Them?
The short answer – no. Don’t swat bees! Not only is it bad for the bee, which we depend on for the pollination of our food and maintaining life on the planet, but it’s also dangerous. Bees typically don’t want to sting. They aren’t bullies looking for people to sting, they’re workers looking for flowers to grab pollen and nectar from. However, the best way to get stung by a bee is to swat it, pinch it, or get too close to their hive. Many people may step on a ground-nesting yellow-jacket and mistake it for a bee, but that’s a different insect. The safest thing to do is just leave them alone, and the bees will do the same.
How Can I Stay Safe From Bees?
Curious about bees, but still don’t want to get stung? You can learn a lot about bees by studying them, but if you’re coming within 20 feet of a hive, you should wear protective clothing. However, if you’re just observing them on flowers, they’re completely safe and will leave you alone. If you do find a bee on you, or buzzing around your face – don’t panic. Bees are only likely to sting if they’re swatted, pinched, caught in clothing, or defending their hive. Lastly, use common sense. Go indoors if you see a swarm of bees, don’t play with bees or try to keep them as pets. Lastly, treat them with the kindness you want them to show to you.
Bees Don’t Scare Me At All
That’s great news. Bees everywhere play an extremely vital role in the food chain and are important to human survival. If you want to save bees and make sure they keep doing their job of pollinating the bushes and trees that provide our food, there’s a few things you can do. First, take care of the environment. Our planet is also the bees’ planet, so it’s important for everyone we take good care of it. You can also support the wild bee population by providing safe places for them to hide by raising your own beehive! Make sure you take safety precautions if you do this at home, and save me some of that fresh honey!