It was meant to bee! Our state insect, the honeybee, was chosen because of its importance as a pollinator and a honey producer.

According to MU Extension, the European honey bee (Apis mellifera), also known as the common or western honeybee, is the most influential insect for humankind, both in history and in the honey and wax resources it provides. 

For example, beeswax was among the first plastics used, along with other natural polymers. It has been in use for thousands of years, being found in ancient Egyptian tombs, wrecked Viking ships, and Roman ruins.

To read about Missourians who are sweet on beekeeping, click here.

This post was contributed by Ross Malone. A historian and a retired school teacher, Ross has authored many books about Missouri’s history, weird facts, and folk tales. He has also written children’s historical fiction. Visit his website, and buy his books in the Missouri Life store.

Photo credit: Missouri Department of Conservation