Ecology

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  • Topic: Pollination, Beekeeping, Bee
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  • Published : December 11, 2012
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Treats of honey-bees ecology

Martin Dedinsky
SCI 215 Enviromental Science
Katarina Tuharska
Research Paper
February 26, 2010
It’s technically impossible to replace honey-bees as most important pollinators on earth. Pollination is service provided by insects and other small animals. Also Honey-bees distribute pollen among plants of the same species. This function of ecosystem could not be imitated by any jet invented technology. Plants allure honey-bees on nectar stored in flowers. By sucking nectar from the flower, honey-bees also collect pollen on their lower body hair. For enough nectar supplies honey-bees must visit many flowers in the same area. Rudy Scheibner who is Extension Entomologist said that “When the bee visits the next flower, some of that pollen brushes off onto the flower and if it sticks to the stigma (female reproductive part) of the flower, pollination will take place.”(Scheibner, 1999) This natural way provides reproduction of almost all plants and cannot be replaced by other options. According to Ingram, Nabhan and Buchman, 90 percent of all fauna on earth and 35% of agricultural crops are being reproduced by honey-bees and other small animals. Also farmers realized importance of honey-bees so they keep bee-hives near agricultural fields. “Effective pollination on fields may also increase field’s productivity. Cotton harvests, for example, could increase by as much as 20% if the flowers were fully pollinated by bees, and farm income could potentially increase.“ (Ingram, Nabhan & Buchman., 1996) Honey-bees are disturbed by many impacts of human activity. Disturbed honey-bees may loose their most important ecological function due to some human activities. Honey-bees need their space with clean air, enough food sources. Human activity in some places has effect on many bee species. Frequent human activity in endangered areas may completely destroy habitat of some bee species. According to Ingram et al., in degraded forest of Costa Rica, 33 species of wild bees had disappeared in just 14 years. Extinction of some species of bees also affects flora growing in the area. “A survey of federal recovery plans for sixteen endangered plants growing near the U. S./Mexico border revealed that the range of available pollinators had been determined for only two of them, and threats to pollinators themselves had not been taken into account at all.” (Ingram et al., 1996) This shows that humans often do not realize strict connections between fauna and flora. Humans should consider that endangered plants would disappear very quickly without adequate pollinators help. Ingram et al also says that “…conservation policy and practice should move toward sustaining or restoring ecological relationships, rather than treating species as isolated organisms.” (Ingram et al., 1996) This shows that people often do not realize importance of ecological relationships in each habitat.

Contaminated air may cause serious damage to honey-bees population. Humans release many different matters in to air daily. Mostly due to pesticide spraying, bee populations are reduced. Bees have very sensitive navigation system which suffers from each change in air compound. Benjamin Alison states that reason of bees decline are “…those new neonicotinoid pesticides that growers are using…” Alison argues that, “That's what's messing up the bees' navigation system so they can't find their way home.” (Alison, 2008) This show that every air contamination decreases honey-bees population by disturbing their sensitive navigation system. Also aerial spraying is very inaccurate and therefore affects big area of environment. According to Ingram et al., 1996, „ When pesticides are applied by aircraft, as much as 50% to 75% of the chemicals sprayed can miss their target, leading to inadvertent exposure of nontarget organisms such as pollinators.“ (Ingram et al., 1996) This shows that humans use the...
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