How Many Bees Are In The World?

Bees are an interesting species of winged insect that are closely related to the wasp. Interestingly, they are also closely related to ants.

How Many Bees Are In The World

Despite being extremely important pollinators and key to most of our food, bees naturally instill fear in people.

This is mainly because their stings can be painful or sometimes even deadly. This gives bees a bad rep when in reality they are one of the most important species on Earth.

Despite their importance, bee populations are believed to be dropping all around the world.

This leaves many people questioning how many bees there are in the world. The fact you’ve landed here would suggest you’re one of those people. If you are, you’re in the right place.

In today’s post, we’re going to show you how many bees there are in the world, where they can be found, and anything else you need to know. Let’s dive straight in, shall we?

How Many Bees Are There In The World?

Let’s start by answering the main question that brought you to this post. It is believed that there are currently at least 2 trillion bees around the world.

As you can imagine, counting bees isn’t the easiest of things to do, but estimates suggest that the number of honey bee colonies globally sits at around 80 million.

The total number of managed beehives sits around the 100 million mark, with each hive containing between 10,000 and 60,000 bees.

The 2 trillion bees that live around the world are split into 20,000 different species. 

There were once more than 20,000 species of bees but some have sadly become extinct.

Where Can Bees Be Found?

When it comes to where bees can be found, there isn’t just one answer. Generally speaking, wherever flowering plants can be found, so can bees.

As a result, bees can be found almost anywhere in the world.

However, the most common places to find bees include arid and temperate regions of the world. The southwest of the United States is a hotspot, as is South Africa and South America.

Other parts of Africa, Asia, and southern Europe have an abundance of bees too.

One of the places you definitely won’t find bees is Antarctica. Aside from it being far too cold, there are no flowering plants found on the continent, which bees can’t live without.

This also makes it incredibly rare to see bees in a desert.

Which Countries Have The Most Bees?

According to a Statista study, in recent years, India, China, and Turkey are the countries that have the most beehives.

India leads the way with more than 12.2 million beehives, whilst China follows in second place with approximately 9.2 million beehives.

Finally, Turkey holds its own in third place with just over 8 million beehives. Interestingly, despite having the most beehives, China is actually the largest producer of honey.

In 2021, China produced more than 472,000 metric tons of honey.

The United States currently sits 9th in the table of beehive numbers with 2.7 million beehives.

How Many Types Of Bees Are There?

How Many Bees Are In The World (1)

Despite there being more than 20,000 different species of bees found around the world, there are only 7 recognized families of bees. These families are:

  • Apidae
  • Halictidae
  • Megachilidae
  • Colletidae
  • Andrenidae
  • Melittidae
  • Stenotritidae

The largest family of bees is the Apidae family. This family consists of more than 5,700 different species of bees.

Amongst the bees that make up this species are the famous bumblebee and honey bee.

Interestingly, the Andrenidae family is made up of solitary bees. Instead of living in a hive, these bees make nests on the ground.

Are Bees Actually Endangered?

Despite all the scientific evidence, there are still a lot of people that don’t believe the bee population is in decline.

Whilst there are some populations of bees that are thriving, it is important to know that as a whole, bees are an endangered (see also: Are Bees Endangered?)species.

The honey bee is the most important bee in the world so it garners the most attention but other species of bee are at risk too.

Just a quick look at the numbers shows just how endangered bees are.

In America alone, the number of bee colonies has fallen by 3 million in the past 60 years. When you consider each colony has up to 60,000 bees, this statistic is staggering.

Why Are Bees Endangered?

The reason bees have become an endangered species is mostly a result of human behavior.

The most common reasons for the bee’s decline are habitat destruction, air pollution, global warming, and chemical pollution. These all link back to humans.

There are other reasons that are unrelated to people such as parasites, but we are the main cause of the problem. This is why beekeeping is so much more important now.

Without it, we could lose the bees forever.

Why Are Bees Important?

Bees are extremely important to the world because they are key pollinators. Almost 75% of global food and 90% of wild plants depend on animal pollination.

Bees are key to this. In fact, one out of every three mouthfuls of food we eat depends on pollinators like bees.

Crops that rely heavily on pollination are also five times more valuable than those that don’t.

A world without bees would find itself in disarray. We could lose all the plants bees pollinate. As you would expect, this would potentially lead to a global food shortage. 

Final Thoughts

In this post, we’ve told you everything you need to know about the global bee population.

There are more than 2 trillion bees in the world. They can be found almost anywhere flowering plants can be found.

We’ve also touched upon the different types of bees, why they are endangered, and their importance.

Now you’ve made your way through this post, you should know a lot more about bees.

With this knowledge, we hope we’ve inspired you to join the cause to protect the bee population from declining any further. The world wouldn’t be the same without them.

Thomas Callaghan
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