Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
Honeybees pollinate billions of US dollars worth of commercial agricultural crops around the world every year. They are important pollinators for economically important wild plant populations as well.
Honeybee hives provide honey and wax, and pollen, propolis, and royal jelly that are sold for medicines and cosmetics.
Honeybees are important study organisms for research in the connections between nervous system structure and behavior.
Some research suggests honeybee venom may have medically useful applications in the treatment of auto-immune disease or inflammation. (Adjare, 1990; Kang, Pak, and Choi, 2002; Sammataro and Avitabile, 1998)
Positive Impacts: food; source of medicine or drug; research and education; pollinates crops
- Kang, S., C. Pak, H. Choi. 2002. The effect of whole bee venom on arthritis. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine, 30/1: 73-80.
- Sammataro, D., A. Avitabile. 1998. The Beekeeper's Handbook, 3rd edition. Ithaca, New York, USA: Comstock Publishing Associates.