BENEFITS OF HONEY BEES
Bees are of inestimable value as agents of cross-pollination, and many plants are entirely dependent on particular kinds of bees for their reproduction (such as red clover, which is pollinated by the bumblebee, and many orchids). In many cases the use of insecticides for agricultural pest control has created the unwelcome side effect of killing the bees necessary for maintaining the crop. Such environmental stresses plus several species of parasitic mites devastated honeybee populations in the United States beginning in the 1980s, making it necessary for farmers to rent bees from keepers in order to get their crops pollinated and greatly affecting the pollination of plants in the wild. In recent years commercial honeybee hives have suffered from colony collapse disorder, which, for unknown reasons, left many bee boxes empty of bees after overwintering. Bee venom has also been found to have medicinal properties, used for treating arthritis, multiple sclerosis and even fibromyalgia, and more recently to treat sexual dysfunction, cancer, epilepsy and depression.