The Bee Problem

As anyone who has seen “Bee Movie” will know, bees’ importance in nature can not be understated. It is tragic for one that CCS exists, but also that the problem has not yet been solved. We all know that bees are one of the most important pollinators, so why is that they are still dying?

Colony Collapse Syndrome’s origins confused scientists and beekeepers for a long time, but are now connecting them to the pesticides and fungicides being used on the crops.  It isn’t clear, though, which chemicals or combination of chemicals is the cause, and they aren’t likely to ban a product without substantial proof that something is quantifiably causing the destruction of bees, especially if that product is currently supporting America’s food production. This is the main case the pesticide industry is making to protect itself, but I doubt that it will hold for long as the problem goes on.

However, as the bee population rate of loss increases, the situation becomes more and more worrying. They aren’t at any dangerously low levels now, but they very well could be. I wish I was more aware of what was going on in the science part of this national problem, but I may never be as informed as I wish I was. I will stay informed, though, and read about how the bees are doing every so often.

For example, nationwide this past winter only 23.2% of beehives collapsed. This may seem like a lot, but it’s the lowest since a peak of 35% in 2007-08. However, this fact kind of hides some devastating losses, like Ohio’s 50-80% loss of beehives, and Pennsylvania’s 50%. The good news is, though, that people are working on it, and they are very smart people. And there are very determined beekeepers who do a good job at recovering from the winter losses. I have confidence that the bee problem will be fixed.

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3 thoughts on “The Bee Problem

  1. Good thing that you mentioned about food production, because not only that they bring honey to us they even bring propolis that can create medicines and other healthy stuff!

  2. That’s great that the bees seem to be slowly recovering, but I’m honestly surprised that with today’s technology we still have not been able to figure out the problem. I know that some scientists went as far as working to make artificial robotic pollinators to replace the bees if necessary. That’s an interesting concept, but the fact that they can do that and not uncover the cause of death of millions of bees every year is a bit troubling. Hopefully things start to improve with more sustainable beekeeping methods that decrease the need for travel and cut back on the use of pesticides and monocultures in general.

    Here’s an article on the robotic bees, if you’re interested: http://earthfirstjournal.org/newswire/2013/04/08/robotic-bees-to-pollinate-monsanto-crops/

  3. I do hope that the scientists and researches put more time and research into CCD. I don’t think that enough people understand the significant role that bees play. Hopefully by the end of this decade the cause of CCD will have been isolated and the disorder itself put to an end.

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