World Bee Day

World Bee Day

One of the most important aspects of getting food from the farm to the table is the necessity of bees to pollinate many of our crops. “Almost 90% of wild plants and 75% of leading crops depend on animal pollinations,” and bees are one of our most important pollinators (WWF-UK). In the US, bees pollinate approximately 130 different agricultural crops, including fruits, vegetables, and nuts, and add nearly 15 billion dollars in improved crop quality and yield. However, many bees are facing significant threats and extinction due to climate change, habitat loss, invasive plants, chemical pesticides, and disease and parasites. The U.S. honeybee population has declined by 60% since 1947 and the rusty patched bumblebee was the first bee to be added to the endangered species list in 2017 (The Bee Conservancy).

Figure 1 Photo by Anete Lusina from Pexels

There are 4,000 species of native bees that live in North America alone. Honeybees are “considered super-organism due to their complex social systems and dynamic, tight-knit interactions with one another and the environment” (The Bee Conservancy). Friday, May 20th is recognized as World Bee Day, and the IU East Campus Library wants to raise awareness and support for these amazing and important creatures.

The IU East Campus Library offers several databases through our A-Z Resource List that provide information and facts about bees. Nature Journals and Science Magazine are two subscription journals that provide great overview of scientific topics, presented in a way that is accessible to most readers. For those who want to dig a little deeper and explore more peer-reviewed research related to the health and biology of bees, the medicinal properties of honey and bee venom, or their ecological impact, then we’d suggest using databases like Academic Search Complete, Agricultural & Environmental Science Collection, Biological Science Collection, or Web of Science.

We also have several e-books available, ranging on topics related to the decline of honeybees to general beekeeping, via IU East’s online catalog, IUCAT. These books are available to all IU affiliates:

Protecting Pollinators: How to Save the Creatures That Feed Our World by Jodi Hemer

Vanishing Bees: Science, Politics, and Honeybee Health by Sainath Suryanarayanan

Where Have All the Bees Gone? Pollinators in Crisis by Rebecca Hirsh

Dancing with Bees: A Journey Back to Nature by Brigit Strawbridge Howard

Keeping Bees with a Smile: Principles and Practice of Natural Beekeeping by Fedor Lazutin

The Idle Beekeeper: The Low-effort, Natural Way to Raise Bees by Bill Anderson

Figure 2 Photo by Michael Hodgins from Pexels

If you want to learn how to actively help bees and other pollinators, there are several ways you can help.

  1. Plant a bee garden. You can visit sites like Garden for Wildlife and the Pollinator Partnership to find the best flowers and plants to populate your pollinator friendly garden. You can also use an app like the Bee Smart Pollinator Gardener app to help you choose the best native plants specific to your area.
  2. Go chemical free. For more information on how to balance protecting pollinators with pest management, visit the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation guide on reducing pesticide use.
  3. Create a home for bees. Provide bee homes for native bees and bee baths, shallow bowls or bird baths with pebbles and stones that break the surface.
  4. Become a citizen scientist! You can use the site Bumble Bee Watch to help track wild bumblebees and new locations for collecting queens for conservation breeding.
  5. Support local beekeepers and organizations. In Richmond, we have local honey supplier and swarm remover, the Bald Bee Man, who can be found at the Richmond Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings. There are quite a few apiaries in Indiana, including Bastin Honey Bee Farm in Knightstown, IN, and  Hunter’s Honey Farm in Martinsville, IN.

If you need any assistance in researching this topic further or have any questions about accessing these resources, Ask Us! at or click this button:


The Bee Conservancy. (2022). Why Bees.

World Wildlife Federation. (2022). Top 10 Facts About Bees.

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