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Studies Show That Most Americans Know Very Little About Bees

Studies Show That Most Americans Know Very Little About Bees

How much do you think you know about bees? According to recent research, you likely know very little about bees, even if you are certain that you can name a few interesting facts about their behavior. However, much of what we are told about bees is not true. Not only that, but people tend to assume that all bee species share similar traits and behaviors. For example, most people believe that bees can only sting one time, unlike wasp species that can sting multiple times. While it is true that some bee species possess barbed stingers that become detached in their victims, most bee species can indeed sting more than once. It is also commonly assumed that honey bee populations in America are native to North America, but not a single honey bee species is native to this continent. Most bees do possess yellow colored exteriors though, right? Actually, not so much as bees can appear bright blue or green. While all of this may be true, one thing is for sure, bees live social lifestyles within large colonies located in hives. You would think this would be true, but as it happens, most bee species are solitary and do not dwell within hives. Instead, these solitary bees nest below the ground. One researcher recently set out to test America’s knowledge concerning bees, and the results were poor to say the least.

According to Joe Wilson, an ecologist and assistant professor at Utah State University, most people think that every bee that they see belongs to a hive and makes honey. To put it simply, Wilson found that people are not familiar with any types of bees except for honey bees, and even then most people make quite a few false assumption about honey bees. The reason as to why there is such a high degree of variation among bee species is obviously due to the high number of bee species in existence. When surveyed, most people claimed that the number of wild bee species in the United States is around fifty. However, the real number is closer to four thousand, and more are being documented all of the time. Despite the public ignorance concerning bee species in the US, ninety nine percent of respondents did claim that bee conservation is important. Wilson believes that a lot of false information is spread about bees, and it is his mission to correct some of these false assumptions in order to better understand the world’s most important pollinators.

As you were reading the above article, did you find yourself guilty of having made false assumptions about bees?