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?

Marsh marigold (Caltha palustris) as viewed in normal daylight (top) and how a bee sees it in ultraviolet light (bottom).
Photo courtesy Science Photo Library/Cordelia Molloy