Honey bees are one of the most cultured insects in the world. They have been part of the history of humankind. Honey was used as a sweetener before the production of sugar from sugarcane. Bees also produce beeswax used as candle wax for lighting the home and streets at night before gas and electricity were used. The rearing of bees is called apiculture.
In modern times, bees are widely cultivated for their various valuable products. Honey bees provide honey and wax as primary components in food production, cosmetics, and medicine.
Honey bees are essential to agriculture because they are the primary pollinator of some significant crops. For example, most of the fruit crops in the world rely on insects and animals for pollination. Production of almonds, berries, and cherries depend on the natural pollination of bees to produce fruits.
Aside from the importance of honey bees in fruit crop production, it is also responsible for pollinating plants used as forage crops in the animal production industry. Without bees in the ecosystem, the agriculture industry will suffer a significant loss in production.
In the wild, honey bees pollinate wild plants, which provide food for wild animals. Honey bees are also included in the natural wildlife food web. They serve as food for some insect-eating animals.
Honey bees play a vital role in human society, especially in agriculture. The current population of bees is now endangered because of several factors like climate change, pollution, deforestation, and irresponsible use of chemicals and pesticides. Global awareness of the loss of honey bees is increasing. Many campaigns and programs are now being developed to educate the importance of honey bees and other native pollinators in the ecosystem.