From the moment I was first stung by a bee, I have been terrified of these little fur balls. As I got older, I got less afraid, but when they get to close, like on my food or into my hair, I still scream and jump up. Especially last summer in Italy, theere were a lot of bees, wasps and the likes when we would sit outside and as I am known to eat my weight in fruit, they would always come to me. Even though I know they mean no harm, I was so scared they would get caught in my hair and in panic sting me or that I would accidentally put a bee in my mouth as I am eating my melon, so i would stay inside. Then I realised I do not actually know how these surprisingly beautiful creatures live and what they have to go through producing their precious honey. So, as curious as I am, I had to look it up and since then I have learned a great deal and gained respect for these small but no less important animals. Especially for the honey bee I have developed an affection that I thought I would never have for these buzzing, fuzzy little things. The honey bee is the only species of bees that cannot pull the barbed stinger back out after stinging someone. With the stinger it leaves part of its abdomen ,digestive tract, muscles and nerves within our flesh. The honey bee will die in result of this rupture. Without the existence of these bees, without pollination, humans and our entire ecosystem would only have 5 years left to thrive. They are also highly social and cooperative insects, clustering into a ball during winter to conserve warmth, while living of stored honey and pollen. Talking about honey, an average worker bee produces about 1/12th teaspoon of honey in her lifetime!! Honey is not only the only insect-produced food that humans eat, but also the only food that includes all the substances necessary to sustain life, including enzymes, vitamins, minerals and water.
Needless to say, bees are magnificent creatures, and now I have learned all of this, I will try to not freak out so much when they just want to try some of my cantaloupe.
Art credit: Suren Nersisyan