When we think of bees, we think of pesky, buzzing insects that sting us and ruin outdoor gatherings. We might wonder: how badly can we possibly need bees? The truth is, bees are an incredibly important part of our ecosystem on earth—no matter how annoying they may be to humans. Unfortunately, bees have been disappearing around the world for some time now, and their mass disappearance continues to present new problems around the planet.

According to Reuters news source, scientific researchers have been trying desperately for the past 15 years to understand why honeybees around the world are dying off at frighteningly high rates. Over 1 million bee colonies disappear every year, never to return, Reuters reporters noted in 2012.

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