Psst… got bees swarming on your property? Report a bee swarm in Albuquerque.
Asking whether bees are dangerous is like asking whether dogs are dangerous when the reality is this: Dogs bite.
In fact, in the U.S. 1000 people every day seek emergency treatment for dog bites. And the cost of managing canines is a significant burden on a community.
Even in Albuquerque, one of the top 3 calls to the City’s 311 line relates to reporting, complaining, or otherwise managing our urban dog population. (I used to manage the City website, that’s how I know ;-)) The unfortunate truth is our furry best friends can be a big fat headache. But we love them, and some might argue need them.
So too with honeybees, another species long domesticated by humans and one we’ve come to depend upon. The benefits of bees to a community, a recent article in the NY Times (via Sweet Hive Chicago) discusses, far outweigh the risks. Here’s why:
- Free pollination by bees supports our entire agricultural system (In NM, you can’t even ask the state question “Red or Green?” without the help of a honeybee.)
- Local honey may help with allergies
- Urban honey has less chemicals than rural honey
- Bees act as an indicator of overall health (Did you know they use bees to test air quality at German airports?)
So hug a honeybee, compadres. And if you’re allergic, stay away from wasps which tend to be responsible for most “bee attacks” in the populated areas we call home, sweet, home.