Honey Bees, By Honey Bee Colony Essay

1898 Words Apr 1st, 2016 8 Pages
Honey bees produce honey that is favored and enjoyed by many, and they pollinate a large portion of the world’s crops. While their efforts are largely appreciated, their recent troubles have not been given very much attention. Before assessing and understanding their afflictions, one must first have some basic knowledge about the structure/organization of a typical honey bee colony. They are social insects, with each individual bee living to benefit the hive. The survival of the hive depends on the entire colony’s efforts, and its efficiency increases with the population. This is why honey bees can be vulnerable when part of their colony dies or has defects. They lose efficiency, balance, and due to their social behavior, pathogens spread rapidly. This knowledge, along with countless reports of honey bee colony disappearances, has led many scientists to believe that honey bees are dying. Honey bees are likely in trouble due to a combination of pesticides and parasites that cause their colonies to collapse. The decline of honey bee colonies in the United States has been noticed since the mid 20th century. “The number of managed honey bee colonies in the United States decreased during the period of 1947 to 2008, by 61%, from 5.9 to 2.3 million colonies” (Novy et al. 6). Jim Doan, a beekeeper from New York, lost five thousand of his 5,600 bee colonies in 2006 (Morris 1). He was not alone, as many other beekeepers reported losses from thirty to ninety percent of their…

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