6 bees in row

Bees feed on nectar and pollen, the former primarily as an energy source and the latter primarily for protein and other nutrients. Most pollen is used as food for their larvae. Vertebrate predators of bees include birds such as bee-eaters; insect predators include beewolves and dragonflies.

Bee pollination is important both ecologically and commercially, and the decline in wild bees has increased the value of pollination by commercially managed hives of honey bees. The analysis of 353 wild bee and hoverfly species across Britain from 1980 to 2013 found the insects have been lost from a quarter of the places they inhabited in 1980.[3]

Human beekeeping or apiculture has been practised for millennia, since at least the times of Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece. Bees have appeared in mythology and folklore, through all phases of art and literature from ancient times to the present day, although primarily focused in the Northern Hemisphere where beekeeping is far more common.