Honeybees are wonderful. They pollinate crops, make honey and wax, and live to do it all again next year. There are around 20,000 species of bees, around 4,000 of them native to the United States. You might be surprised to learn that the honeybee is not among those native to the US. They were imported because of their usefulness, and cared for for the same reason.
The first half of this video tells us what we need to know about honeybees, but then we learn about all the others, the ones under threat. Those other bee species don't survive from year to year, and are dependent on native plants to thrive. They are particularly vulnerable to pesticides and loss of habitat. We often don't have a clue how important an obscure species is until they are gone, so it behooves us to pay attention to the diversity of native bees and the niche they fill in our ecosystems. Vox give us an overview of the bee situation, and if you are interested in exploring the subject further, there's a great number of links about bees at the YouTube page. -via Kottke