Every creature is special in its own way, but bees are flat-out incredible by any standard. They work together as a unit in unbelievable ways, they make honey, and in their spare time, they basically keep the natural world functioning as it should. Not to mention that without bees to pollinate plants, the human food supply would be hugely diminished—hundreds of fruits, vegetables, and oilseeds are propagated with the help of bees.
Yet the bee population is in drastic decline. Colonies in Canada are failing due to starvation, pesticides, and hard winters. Some people are pushing to regulate pesticides that harm bee populations, while others are trying to promote bee populations by taking up the age-old art of beekeeping.
Whatever the method, keeping bees around is vitally important. They play a significant role in agriculture and natural ecosystems, and they’re incredibly unique insects with fascinating social structures. As we enter bee season, here are 10 mind-blowing facts to remind you of how amazing they are—and maybe make you think twice about swatting the next bee you see.