The Decline In Bees

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The decline in bees has been a controversial topic that has gradually garnered public attention over the last few years. With nearly 87% of all flowering plants (Ollerton, et al. 321), and 35% of global crop production (Klatt, et al.) being reliant on animal pollination, bees are a vital contributor to food production. Unfortunately, the bee population has been dropping steadily for the last 60 years due to factors such as, pesticides, invasion of pests, and climate change (Walters 375). Neonicotinoids, an insecticide introduced into the market in the early 1990s (Lundin, et al.), has been largely blamed for this drop. The Ontario government, as an attempt to prevent the bee population in its province from further decline, issued regulatory …show more content…
199; Thompson, et al.). In Pohorecka, et al.’s experiment (199), colonies were placed in noenicitinoid treated maize fields and were monitored for the duration of a beekeeping season. The concentration of neonicotinoids was acquired by examining both pollen loads and adult bees, with only the pollen loads showing minimal concentrations of neonicotinoids, indicating that there was low exposure to neonicotinoids (Pohorecka, et al. 199). Thompson’s experiment placed 20 bee colonies at three sites, each treated with a form of noenicitinoid and were observed as they developed. In the end, the levels of noenicitinoids found in the collected pollen samples were too low to suggest a correlation between noenicitinoids and bee mortality. Further more, Cutler, et al.’s review of Canadian honey bee incidents (779) from 2007 to 2012, shows that while 61% of all pesticide related incidents are caused by neonicotinoids, 80% of major incidents, which involve the deaths of five hundred thousand to eight million bees, are caused by other pesticides. This indicates that other factors are affecting the declining bee population, not just the application of neonicotinoids, thus we will …show more content…
They found that highly infested colonies had a greater tendency to have its queen superseded, and to collapse afterwards, suggesting a correlation between varroa infestations, failing queen bees, and colony collapse (Cargel and Rinderer 8). Dainat, et al.’s study (981) also shows a strong correlation between varroa destructors, deformed wing virus (DMV)--a virus that causes wing and abdominal deformities, and a shortened lifespan. In their study, they monitored colonies in Switzerland for 6 months, where dead worker bees were examined for DMV (Dainat, et al. 981). They found that worker bees infected with DMV, and those from colonies infested with varroa mites had a reduced life expectancy, with a tendency for infested colonies to have a greater number of DMV cases (Dainat, et al. 981). Similarly, Francis’ study observed the effect that varroa destructor and DMV, had on treated colonies, and non-treated colonies. In cases where the colony was treated, the number of varroa mites became low enough that the hive survived the overwintering season, while in nontreated scenarios the hive collapsed during the winter, suggesting a correlation between varroa infestations and colony collapse (Francis, et al.). It should

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