The Harvard Gazette spoke with Benjamin de Bivort, the Thomas D. Cabot Associate Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and James Crall, a postdoctoral fellow, to talk about their views on how much the public should worry about the sightings of murder hornets in Washington state and British Columbia, and while they are not excessively harmful to humans, they do hurt an essential animal in the ecosystem — the honeybee.
“Bees are incredibly important for human well-being, including both managed honeybees and wild bees. Put simply: About one in three bites of food comes from crops that depend on animals for pollination, and bees are the most important group of pollinators,” Crall explained.
He continued, “The parts of our diet that depend on pollinators — including many fruits, nuts, and vegetables — are really nutritious. Losing pollinators means less healthy food and worse health outcomes for humans. Of course, beyond their role in food production, bees are incredibly important for preserving biodiversity, more generally.”