The honey bee population is shrinking, this is putting our food supply in danger. Bees are vital to the pollination of the flowers that produce fruit and veggies, without the bees, the produce in our gardens may not grow.
As far back as 2006 scientist have discovered a dwindling bee population, they started looking for a reason for the decline, and even then, pesticides were suspected. Look at the post I found on CenterForBetterLife.org
“Despite its apparent lack of marquee appeal, a decline in pollinator populations is one form of global change that actually has credible potential to alter the shape and structure of terrestrial ecosystems,” stated May R. Berenbaum, Ph.D., professor and head of the entomology department at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in a 2006 National Academy of Sciences’ report Status of Pollinators in North America. Berenbaum’s research on chemical interactions between insects and the plants they pollinate makes her uniquely qualified to consider pesticide effects on honey bees. “It’s a double-edged sword. From a grower’s perspective, it’s hard to imagine achieving the level of productivity we have achieved without some way to assist plants in fending off their enemies even if you grow organically. The problem we have is prophylactic use; people tend to use a chemical before there’s really a need . . . the American idea that if a little is good, then more is better,” says Berenbaum.
Chemical misuse is just one of the stressors causing pollinator disappearance. Another is global climate change. “Global climate change appears to be contributing to a mismatch between pollinators and plants. European data shows there have been shifts in distribution of pollinators, especially bumble bees. And the plants that depend upon them are also undergoing shifts,” says Berenbaum.
But really, why are bees so important? As I stated above, without the bees, flowering plants will not produce. Fruit trees, corn, green beans, almost any plant the produces fruits or veggies need bees to pollinate the flowers that will produce. No bees, no food, simple as that.
Others are finding different things that may or may not be killing the bees, like this New York Times article states.
WASHINGTON — The devastation of American honeybee colonies is the result of a complex stew of factors, including pesticides, parasites, poor nutrition and a lack of genetic diversity, according to a comprehensive federal study published on Thursday. The problems affect pollination of American agricultural products worth tens of billions of dollars a year.
The report does not place more weight on one factor over another, and recommends a range of actions and further research.
Honeybees are used to pollinate hundreds of crops, from almonds to strawberries to soybeans. Since 2006, millions of bees have been dying in a phenomenon known as colony collapse disorder. The cause or causes have been the subject of much study and speculation.
The federal report appears the same week that European officials took steps toward banning a class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids, derived from nicotine, that they consider a critical factor in the mass deaths of bees there.
But officials in the United States Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency and others involved in the bee study said that there was not enough evidence to support a ban on one group of pesticides, and that the costs of such action might exceed the benefits…
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