Louisiana History August 05, 2020
by Jackie Ann Few People Know That Honey Bees Are The Official Insect Of The Pelican State And Here’s What You Should Know
You might flinch when one zips past you, or even run screaming to escape a sting, but honey bees are perhaps the most important bug in the Pelican State, so of course, it’s the official insect of Louisiana. Don’t be so quick to kill or remove these little guys, they’re more important than you think.
Louisiana designated the honey bee as the official state insect in 1977.
Other state symbols:
State bird: Eastern brown pelican
State flower: Magnolia
State freshwater fish: White perch
State mammal: Black bear
State tree: Bald cypress
State song: "Give Me Louisiana" and "You Are My Sunshine"
Fun fact: Louisiana is one of the only states in the country with two official state songs.
But perhaps the most unusual state symbol is our state drink, milk.
The western honey bee, also known as the European honey bee is the most common species of honey bee in the world.
Believed to have originated in Africa or Asia, these little guys can be found on every continent except Antartica.
We’re not the only state to claim the honey bee as our official state insect.
Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin have all adopted this special little bug as their official state insect. That just proves how important honeybees are.
They play an important roll in agriculture.
Bee pollination is crucial to plant and animal survival. They pollinate plants that for some, would never otherwise reproduce. Without bees, we would lose countless plants that are vital to our fragile ecosystems. Not to mention all of the added perks bees provide, like honey and beeswax.
Without bees, life as we know (or knew) it would completely change.
Another common misconception is that honey bees are going extinct. While they are not (yet) on the endangered species list, a few of their cousins are, including the rusty-patched bumble bee and a few different species of Hawaiian yellow-faced bees. Our bee, the European Honey Bee, isn’t on the list yet, though numbers are declining.
You can even get a “Save The Honey Bee” license plate to show your support.
The royalty fees are used for financial aid for graduate students working on honey bee research projects at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Research Laboratory in Baton Rouge, so you’ll be helping support the next generation make sure these important insects will be around for many years to come. Click
to learn more about getting your special license plate.
The Louisiana Beekeepers Association is a great resource if you’re interested in learning more about honey bees or starting your own beekeeping business.
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