Buzz Off

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Priscilla Council

Biology 1110

February 23, 2010

Research Assignment

Where Have All the Bees Gone?

Morgan E. Peck

Discover Magazine

2009

Summary

Each year since 2006, bees have gradually been disappearing from their hives or dying off. Bees have died off before in the past. This is called colony collapse disorder or CCD. In the past CCD was cause by mites or infections, but now this is caused because of the commercial agricultural farmers. Bees play a key part in pollination. When the crops are pollinated by the bees, they are capable of producing the fruits or vegetables the human population eats. Farmers primarily depend upon the bees to pollinate their crops. The honeybees were the most adaptable bees out there because they would pollinate almost any of the plants. Other bees were only attracted to specific plants or flowers. Since the farmers want more production from their crops, they have resulted to commercial beekeepers for the answers. These beekeepers produce mass quantities of bees to keep up with the demand of the agricultural industry. These honeybees have been genetically engineered to be attracted to specific types of plants or trees. The bees would spend time surrounded by nothing but a specific type of plant, whether it is an apple orchard or nut trees. After time has passed the bees would be attracted to that specific type of tree. This would make the farmers more eager to bring these honeybees to their farm and pollinate their crop. With more pollination came more yield, and that in ensured more income for the farmers.

Before the 20th Century the queen would mate with multiple male drones from other colonies, ensuring the survival fitness of the species and colonies. Since commercial beekeepers have came into the picture the queens are only allowed to mate with male drones that are producing offspring that are better pollinators. This process as produced a sort of inbreeding, where the queen does not have

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