The Missouri Department of Conservation encourages citizens to “bee-friend” our native pollinators. Missouri is home to approximately 450 species of bees and more species are identified each year.

Bees are essential to our way of life because their pollination activities help provide food, fiber and medicines for humans. In fact, one in three foods that you eat have probably been made possible by bee pollination. Some foods that would not exist without bees include grapes, nuts, coffee and chocolate. The value of bees and their pollination is worth approximately $30 billion annually to the United States.

Bees frighten some people, but most Missouri bees have such short stingers that they cannot penetrate human skin.

The Missouri Department of Conservation urges citizens to encourage and assist bees by providing the flowers that they pollinate. Even apartment dwellers can assist bees by planting flower boxes with colorful blossoms. People with lawns can help by mowing less frequently or by mowing higher to allow the clover, dandelions, and violets to flower.

For more information on native bees, visit and search for “native bees.”

– Submitted to The Examiner