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Bad bees vs good bees

Bad bees vs good bees

Bad bees vs good bees is a very controversial issue from the point of view of humans and nature. After all, bees are different and behave differently depending on the place and time. And as a consequence, our perception of bees is different. Let’s find out if there are really good and bad bees or if it is a completely different matter.

Bees for nature

Nothing is unnecessary for nature and bees are no exception. Bees appeared on earth 120 million years ago and all this time they have been part of nature. There are 20 000 species of bees in the world. Honeybees are part of this population. Apart from them, there are solitary bees that do not bring honey at all and do not live in colonies. These are the carpenter bee, the mason bee, the leafcutter bee. All of them are important for nature as they fulfil the most important function on earth – pollination of plants. Therefore, all bees are good for nature.

Bees for humans

Humans interacted with bees millions of years ago. The first evidence of this interaction is recorded in a drawing known as “The Man of Bicorp” in the Cuevas de la Araña, or Spider Caves in Valencia, Spain. This rock art is 8000 years old.

For humans, bees have always been a blessing. From them they obtained honey, wax, propolis, royal jelly and other bee products. By pollinating plants, they increase the yield of many crops of foodstuffs.  In many religions and cultures bees had a divine origin and were associated with superior forces. In ancient Egypt it was believed that bees came from the tears of the sun god Ra.

Nowadays we already know where bees come from and realise what benefits they bring. But at the same time there are cases when bees are not perceived in the positive way.

When we think the bees are bad

When suddenly an annoying bee stings us. We feel pain and think that some evil bee has hurt us. But we must realise that bees are aggressive not because of their own caprice, but only when they feel threatened. After all, most bees die after being stung. They do this only as a last resort. Therefore, you need to understand this and do not come close to their habitat. But if you accidentally step on a bee and it has to sting you, well, that is its nature and there is nothing you can do about it.

Also, solitary bees like the carpenter bee and the leafcutter bee can get a reputation as bad bees because the carpenter bee can put holes in your wooden house and the leafcutter bee chews through the leaves of the flowers in your garden. All true, but then again, that’s just the way their nature works.  After all, the carpenter bee chooses wood for its nest in your house not because it’s your house, but because it’s a fairly soft wood. And the leafcutter is so organised that it will chew through the leaves of your roses not because it wants to harm you specifically. It just chews through the leaves. There are many safe products available to protect your home and plants to help prevent damage.

Therefore, there is no such thing as bad and good bees in nature. All bees are of great benefit. It’s just that in some cases we need to be more conscious of the interactions and perceptions of these little hard-working insects that have been around for millions of years.

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