Column: Save the honey bees

Lauren McQueen, Managing Editor

If the honey bee disappears, we will lose a large portion of our food supply. According to, bees are responsible for pollinating about one-sixth of the flowering plants worldwide and approximately 400 different types of agricultural plants.

In 2010, honey bees produced nearly $19 billion worth of agricultural crops in the U.S. They may be a nuisance to us, but all kinds of bees are essential for plant reproduction. Without the bees to pollinate plants, about one-third of our everyday food supply would be gone. This includes apples, pumpkins, cherries, almonds, and of course, honey–a crop valued at $317.1 million.

Think about that next time you see a bee flying around. Honey bees die shortly after they sting a person, which means there’s one less bee to pollinate plants. While the loss of one bee may seem miniscule, it’s not. Bees have been on the decline for years. There has been a 40 percent decline in the commercial honey bee since 2006 in the U.S.

Agricultural pesticides are the most common cause of the bee decline, and there are petitions in place for those who want to ban bee-killing pesticides. On a local level, you can help by not using chemicals and pesticides in your own garden.

Be aware of how much we need bees, so the next time you think about killing one, you’ll think twice.

Lauren McQueen is a junior journalism major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].