How Are Dying Bees Affecting Our Lives?

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Getting stung by a bee can hurt, but losing bees forever can hurt even more. It may be hard to see why bees are so important to us, but did you know that 1 of every 3 bites of food we take comes from a pollinated plant or an animal that depends on bee pollination? And yet, since the mid-2000s, bees have been mysteriously vanishing.


A world without bees would be a different place. A lot of crops currently depend on them, including fruits like almonds and cherries, vegetables like onions and pumpkins, and field crops like soybeans and sunflowers. A loss of bees could mean economic hardships for farms and the food industry and would lead to a rise in food costs.

In 2006, beekeepers started reporting that seemingly healthy bees were simply abandoning their hives in mass numbers, never to return. Researchers call the mass disappearance colony collapse disorder (CCD). Since then, around one third of honey bee colonies in the U.S. have vanished.

You can take action today and help make our world a healthier place for bees. Here are things you can do to save our bees:

Plant a bee-friendly garden: Flowers – especially ones native to your area – help feed bees and other valuable pollinators. Native plants also often require less water and fertilizer than non-native plants. You will be doing a huge favor to native species of bees, who have adapted over thousands of years to feed off these plants.

Written By: Drew Hendricks
continue to source article at newswatch.nationalgeographic.com

9 COMMENTS

  1. I recall watching a TV show in which people needed to manually pollinate an orchard using a feather attached to a stick. It was effective but extremely inefficient compared to the massive amount of work done by bees. It really illustrated what a horrendous situation would result if there were no more bees.

    I started to notice the decline of bees (complete lack of bees) in my yard many years before I heard about CCD. I saw a few honey bees last summer, so I am hopeful. (?)

  2. I thought I read at least a year ago, that this colony collapse phenomenon had been figured out, that it was some kind of new virus that was able to spread very rapidly through colonies. Am I wrong about that? Is there a consensus on the cause or is it still under study?

  3. Kind of off topic but whenever I read stories like this I think of Doris Lessing’s book The Four Gated City. She has one of the most interesting apocalypse stories I’ve ever read, where human society destroys itself not through any one war or catastrophe but by just unravelling the ecosystem to the point where its not capable of supporting human civilization anymore.

  4. In reply to #3 by Red Dog:

    I thought I read at least a year ago, that this colony collapse phenomenon had been figured out, that it was some kind of new virus that was able to spread very rapidly through colonies. Am I wrong about that? Is there a consensus on the cause or is it still under study?

    I too thought I’d read it had been discovered that it was due to a virus or parasite.

    However, a quick search found this report that it was due to a class of pesticides.

    http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2012/04/09/mystery-of-the-disappearing-bees-solved/

    I don’t know if this is the definitive reason.

  5. The loss of bees would create the new job title: Pollinator. Questioning Cat points out some inefficiencies but demand would adjust for that. We are usually inefficient at all new technology. Perhaps investing in development now, before we need it, would help when we do; if we do. Keeping bees is probably the best solution but this could become a whole new industry.

    Oh, I see it is being done:

    http://robobees.seas.harvard.edu/

    Can’t remember how to make that a live link

  6. In reply to #7 by bluebird:

    *In reply to #6 by aquilacane

    http://robobees.seas.harvard.edu/

    Can’t remember how to make that a live link

    robo bees
    Under the comment box is “help with formatting click here”

    I had lots of non-aggressive (honey?) bees at my hummer feeder;
    as they seemed desperate for food, I set out a pan of sugar water for them.

    Ah, thanks. I use to get an email when there was a reply. Has that ended?

  7. In reply to #5 by Jumped Up Chimpanzee:

    I thought I read at least a year ago, that this colony collapse phenomenon had been figured out, that it was some kind of new virus that was able to spread very rapidly through colonies. Am I wrong about that? Is there a consensus on the cause or is it still under study?

    I too thought I’d read it had been discovered that it was due to a virus or parasite.

    However, a quick search found this report that it was due to a class of pesticides.

    There are multitudes of causes, not least of which is the long-distance bulk transport of hives for commercial pollination, which is spreading bee parasites and diseases all over the place.
    Pesticides and other agrochemicals are also a factor.

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