POTENTIAL CAUSES FOR DISAPPEARING BEE COLONIES OVER THE LAST DECADE
When you think of bees, you may first think of an annoyance. They want ruin your picnic, they might sting you, and many people are allergic to them. Take a closer look. Bees are a cornerstone in the production of many mass-produced foods.
(Images from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/honeybees-food-colony-collapse-disorder_us_56393631e4b0b24aee47fee9)
• It might be easy to imagine a life without caraway or turnips. But coffee? Onions? APPLES?
• We may be looking at a future where these beloved foods, and many more, no longer exist, because the impending extinction of bees leaves …show more content…
Here’s a list of contributing factors:
(List of factors and more at http://insects.about.com/od/antsbeeswasps/tp/CausesofCCD.htm)
• Malnutrition – Wild honeybees thrive on varieties of pollen. Honeybees used commercially or even kept by beekeepers as a hobby are more likely to have a limited plant diversity to work with (possibly just a single crop), and this can lead to nutrition deficiencies, and subsequent weakened immune systems.
• Pesticides – These nasty toxins have been wiping out insects ever since we started using DDT in 1939. Neonicotinoids, nicotine-based pesticides, have been specifically linked to the collapse of bee colonies. In fact, here’s a rather recent article that connects neonicotinoids with our next factor- GMOs!
• Genetically Modified Crops – When you genetically modify crops, you also modify their pollen. Exposure to corn that has been modified and consequently produces Bacillus thuringiensis, or the Bt toxin, may cause severe damage to bees’ immune …show more content…
But bees also have their own pests to deal with- mites. These little vermin may carry viruses, or they may just decide to settle down inside of a bee’s digestive track. Either way, these organisms alone can’t really cause CCD, but they definitely bring down a hive’s defenses.
• Toxins in the Environment – Just like all other organisms, bees can be heavily affected by pollution. Additionally, water sources treated with chemicals can have an adverse effect.
• Electromagnetic Radiation – DON’T BE FOOLED. Some may believe that radio frequencies interfere with a bee’s ability to navigate its way around, but any hypotheses involving this notion have been disproved.
• Climate Change- Bees are part of a functioning ecosystem. When said ecosystem is negatively impacted by a change in weather or climate (floods, droughts, the whole shebang), plants in the area will be affected. Or course, without sufficient pollen from plants, bees can’t have a sufficient food source.
As stated before, one of the above factors may be the main cause for CCD, but one alone is not the sole reason that bees are dying so rapidly. Humans use and abuse these insects for food and for profits, and unless we want to keep on living in a world with fruits, vegetables, and flowers, that has to