Mankind’s interest in honeybees is ancient, and bees were of importance to our forefathers mainly for their honey and wax. In modern times, the interest in bees has undergone a true renaissance for very different reasons. Albert Einstein (1879–1955) is reported to have said: “When bees vanish from the Earth, mankind will have just four more years to live; no bees, no pollination, no plants, no animals, no humans …”. This sentence should not, at least as far as the time frame is concerned, be taken too literally, but the statement carries more than a little truth. Bees are sensitive indicators of an intact environment, and as essential and persistent shapers of the environment, have a significance that cannot be estimated highly enough.
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