Image via Muhammad Mahdi Karim

Generally speaking, people think that bees are okay *in theory.* However, as soon as people sees bees *in reality,* they start screaming and running and trying to squish them with their shoes. This is a bit unfortunate, as bees are absolutely necessary to our survival. According to a Cornell University study, the value of honey bee pollination to U.S. agriculture is more than $14 billion annually. But economics should be the least of our concerns, as bees are (quite literally) necessary for life.

The biosphere is a fragile system, one that we depend on for our survival. Irresponsibly tampering with any part of it could have serious consequences, and not just for humans, but for the whole planet. It is a simple point, one that most of us already know, but it bears repeating because, although species naturally die off from time to time, the extreme impact that humans have had in recent decades has tipped the balance in such a way that the entire biosphere is upset, and many species cannot keep up. The accelerated rate of extinction (and the declining numbers that we see across the board) is alarming to say the least.

Bees, like every other species, evolved as part of a system–a system that every living organism depends on for survival. And it is important to understand what will happen if we don’t change our actions. So take a moment to learn what the world would be like without bees:

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