Bees in Our Environment
General Bee Information
Bees may be found almost everywhere in our environment busy foraging for food. They feed on nectar for energy and pollen to feed their young. There are thousands of bee species in North America and about 1500 of them are found in California.
The best known bee is the European honey bee (Apis melifera) because of its strong relationship to man. Humans discovered ways to manage honey bees in order to use their products and pollination capability. Honey, wax and pollen products have become important commodities bought, sold and enjoyed to this day. But the honey bee is not native to North America. It was brought here during the discovery of the New World and followed man to California in the 1800s. Humans have been drawn to this insect because of its ability to adapt to domestication, their complexity, pollination capability and the wonderfully useful products they make. The complexity of this organism and the products it makes still draw us to love and admire this remarkable creature.