Lately there has been a lot of talk about the honeybee. To many it’s just an annoying pest, but without them our food supply as we know it could drastically change.
Honeybees are one of the few pollinators that are synchronized and managed with the growing of crops. Without them there would be 1/3 less crops in the world then there is now. There are no other pollinators that can be moved from crop to crop. They are the biggest producer of consumer honey. Other pollinators such as yellow jackets, wasps, hornets, butterflies, bats and birds are solitary pollinators and just can’t do the job.
Some plants rely on the wind or are self pollinateing but for most fruits and vegetables they rely on the honeybee. Many grasses also need pollination, if the grasses don’t reproduce then the grazing animals will starve and we lose another source of food.
So what’s killing them? Well pesticides for one thing. People are killing off the good with the bad. Another problem is fungus and mites that are feeding off the larva and the adult. There is also a fast-spreading malady called “colony collapse syndrome”. Whole colonies are disappearing with only the queen, worker drones and larva remaining.
One theory is that with the increase use of cell phones, the radiation is messing with their homing instincts. But what about the ones they found dead. Bees are extremely sensitive to the environment. Air pollution, water pollution, and global warming have not helped the situation much.
With the increasing use of geneticly altered plants, could it be killing off the bee? I think everyone who has the space for a hive should get one. New equipment should be used to not contaminate the new bees with whatever may have been in old equipment.
There is so much going on in the world we don’t need to add massive starvation to it.
Some websites that talk about honeybees are: