Aug. 20 is National Honey Bee Day. Here's how Texas A&M's Honey Bee Research Program is working to better understand this "keystone species."
During the first lecture Juliana Rangel gives in her honey bee biology class, she asks Texas A&M University undergraduates if they enjoy eating fruits, vegetables and nuts. After they answer “yes,” Rangel then asks students if they know where their food comes from.
Honey bees are responsible for pollinating approximately one third of the food we eat – particularly the fruits and vegetables that make up a balanced diet. “That catches their attention, because typically they don’t know that honey bees are really important for the food they eat on a daily basis,” Rangel said. “And then we start thinking about pollination at a greater scale.”
Rangel is an associate professor of apiculture in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Department of Entomology. In addition to teaching students about honey bees and beekeeping, she runs Texas A&M’s Honey Bee Lab.
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