The Decline of The Bee

Topics: Beekeeping, Colony collapse disorder, Pollination Pages: 4 (1202 words) Published: April 22, 2015
The Decline of The Bee

The bee is a vital part of human existence. They pollinate, giving life to plants, animals, and in turn, man. If they were to die out, the human race would follow suit in a mere matter of years. 65% of all flowering plants require bees for pollination, and the percentage being higher for the major crop plants, like corn and wheat. These crops account for $47.1 billion every year. Honey bees are responsible for one-third of the food we eat, meaning no bees equals no food.

The first signs of danger amongst the bees began in October of 2006, when U.S. beekeepers began reporting losses of 30% - 90% of their hives. Colony losses are a natural part of beekeeping, with higher losses expected during the winter months, but the sheer magnitude of the reports were extremely unusual. This phenomenon is termed as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). CCD has caused the American domesticated bee population to experience a substantial decline from 30% to 50% over the last two decades. Across the Atlantic, in England, the situation is even direr, with some areas experiencing losses of over 80%. This state must seem like a utopia to the beekeepers of China, where there are no colonies of bees left at all. A prime indicator of CCD in a hive is the absence of adult honeys bees. The queen lives, brood bees are present, and honey may remain, but there are no signs of dead honey bees in the hive. What is perhaps the most chilling of detail of CCD is the fact that nobody has an inkling as to why it occurs. CCD is no doubt one of the largest threat to the bee, but close behind is the increased use of neonicotinoid pesticides, and the spread of the Varroa mite.

Neonicotinoid pesticides are used in almost every aspect of the agriculture industry. They are systematic pesticides, meaning that the seeds of the plant that are soaked in the mixture carries the chemicals into the plant, nectar and seed, and can be passed on to the bees. These chemicals are safer for...
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