Bees are said to be an important agent when it comes to pollination. In fact, bees are not only vital to produce honey or wax, but also play a significant role in agriculture (Michener, 2000). So, when people say that if the bees’ population continues to decline, the world would suffer from a serious food crisis, we might get a little bit alarmed.
Through the last decades, bee population has been declining at significant rates. “In central Europe, estimated losses since 1985 point to a 25% loss of honeybee colonies, with a 54% loss in the UK” (Tirado, Simon, & Johnston, 2013)
One of the many causes behind bee colonies decline are pesticides. If farmers continue to use as many pesticides and insecticides as they can, it will ruin the source of pollen for bees.(Gross, 2019). Pesticides and CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder) actually have a correlation.
Parasites are also among the causes of the bee problem. Many beekeepers report that the Varroa mite is a serious problem that they face. An infestation with this virus might lead to the colony decease. This organism attaches to the bee and sucks the blood out of bee’s body, making it weak and eventually die.
Climate change had to be on the list of threats to bees, since it affects all species on the planet. Starting with the plants, the changes in temperature, humidity, etc., can alter the plants’ behavior or even resulting in their death, and consequently one less source for the bees. Furthermore, bees are also sensitive to climate change(Conte & Navajas, 2008). If the weather is not appropriate, bees do not go out of their hives and will not produce nor pollinate.
As much as people may find it irrelevant, bee colonies extinction is very relevant to our society. They are responsible for a lot of activities that the “regular person” may not be aware of, but that does not mean it is a problem that we do not need to worry about. Being active on these issues is also what makes a good citizen.
Conte, Y. L., & Navajas, M. (n.d.). Climate change: impact on honey bee populations and diseases. 13.
Gross, L. (2019, January 24). Pesticides Are Harming Bees in Literally Every Possible Way. Wired. Retrieved from https://www.wired.com/story/pesticides-are-harming-bees-in-literally-every-possible-way/
Michener, C. D. (2000). The Bees of the World. JHU Press.
Tirado, R., Simon, G., & Johnston, P. (n.d.). Situation. Retrieved March 31, 2019, from The Bees in Decline website: http://sos-bees.org/situation/