The honey bee is the most common state insect in the United States. It’s so common in fact, that it is the state insect 17 different states. These 17 states that have the honey bee as their state insect include: New Jersey, Missouri, Arkansas, Nebraska, Georgia, Louisiana, Kansas, North Carolina, Kentucky, Vermont, Maine, Mississippi, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin, and of course… Oklahoma.
So Which Species of Honey Bee Is It?
There are actually seven different honey bee species, with another 44 different subspecies. So which species of honey bee are State legislatures referring to? My guess is that these state legislatures were simply assigning the honeybee as a state insect in its truest and purest form. The genus Apis are only true honey bees recognized by scientists.
In the case of Oklahoma, the state insect is actually defined as the European honey bee.
Why Is The Honey Bee The Most Common State Insect?
Honey bees are dynamic and hardworking insects that work together as a society for the betterment of the hive as a whole. When you recognize the parallel of a bee hive, and a state’s society, it’s easy to see why so many states have claimed the honey bee as their official state insect. A modern civilization would love to get just 20% of the honey bee’s work ethic out of it’s citizens. In any prosperous civilization each honey bee has a designated role within the hive. The bee does it’s job, no questions asked. A honey bee is so dedicated to it’s cause, that it would even give its own life for the preservation of the hive and the queen.
Oklahoma designated the honeybee as official state insect in 1992. It would love for it’s citizens to emulate the dynamic and hardworking of a honey bee; and their hive.
The European Honey Bee
The European honey bee is also referred to as the Western honey bee. They are virtually found everywhere in the United States, and on other continents like Europe and Asia. Of course, they are found in Oklahoma, including the city of Tulsa.
European Honey bees are beneficial insects that assist in the pollinating of flowers and flowering plants. These honey bees live in a hive and are grouped together in castes of queens, sterile female workers, and fertilizing males. A single European honey bee hive can carry up to 80,000 bees.
Unfortunately, honey bees do sting. There are actually 14 deaths annually caused by reaction from a honey bee sting. Deaths occur when allergic reactions take place. They are rare.
Author Bio: Anthony Ball does content marketing for Bulwark Exterminating, which is an industry leader in providing first-class pest control services. Bulwark specializes in roach, ant, spider, and scorpion control in eleven cities, including Tulsa, OK.