Why Are Bees Important — and What Makes Bees Different?

Bees! From honey bees to bumble bees, solitary or colony-forming, these insects have shaped modern agriculture. So why, exactly, are bees important?

Bee head
The head of a honey bee, showing the large compound eyes, antennae and proboscis.
Photo courtesy USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab/Sam Droege