The Decline of Honey Bees

The bee population in the United States and around the world has been declining at an alarmingly rate for more than a decade. Since 2006, the decline of Bee colonies has been recorded at the rate of 29% per year. 2018 was particularly fatal with a 38% decline in the bee colonies. It is vital to save the bee colony because bees play an essential role in our ecosystem.

Well known factors that cause a decline in honeybees.

Climate change, pesticide use, habitat loss, environmental pollution, as well as pests and predators, are the factors behind the decline in honeybees.

The Bee Population is declining and we need to save the bees

Change in climate

The change in weather has been a significant threat to the bee population. Studies have shown that when bees are warm, bees find it hard to adapt to the environment which makes it hard for them to move north or thrive in a new environment. Another climatic problem is that the warming of the temperature disturbs the synchronization between the flowering of the plants and the activity of the bees, which can be interrupted if the flowers bloom earlier every year.

Pesticide

Pesticides and their effect on the decline of the Bee Population

The use of pesticides has harmed bee populations. An example of a dangerous pesticide that can cause harm to bees is called neonicotinoid, due to the high chemical content. New research carried out has shown that the use of two neonicotinoids can destroy bee colonies.

Pesticides have had a negative impact on the decline in honeybee by causing death and damage to not only bees but other animals and plants.

Habitat loss due to agriculture, soil degradation and urban sprawl.

Declining bee population means no food. .

The replacement of small, diversified farms by massive individual crop farms reduces the bee habitat and ecological diversity. Air pollution from car emissions has shown a high threat to the bee population, whereby air pollution can decompose the odor molecules of plants which can cause bees in search of a floral fragrance to take longer time to find food due to the change in smell.

At the same time, according to research carried out in 2013, it explained that “biodiversity and chemical-free farming systems, such as organic farming systems, can benefit both managed and wild pollinators.

Pests, virus, and diseases

Examples of viruses and parasites like Varroa destructor and Nosema ceranae have also caused a threat to bee colonies. In most cases, commercial bees are often transported to unnatural locations. What this means is that these bees are exposed to new viruses and pathogens, which in the long run, cause the colonies to collapse.

Other threats include parasitic mites that feed on bee blood and may infect the colony with diseases. Note that a decline in the bee population has a negative effect on the ecosystem. The reason is that pollination not only provides food for other organisms but at the same time, enables flowers to grow which helps create an environment for animals. Bees collect pollen and nectar for food supply and transport pollen from the male parts of the flower to the female receptors to fertilize the plants.

The importance of bees to humans and the ecosystem

Hard-working bees are declining.

Honeybees are overall known as generalists, which means that they visit a variety of flowering plants. Apart from the fact that bees are pollinating insects, they can also be managed by beekeepers, especially if they are kept in beehives and brought to better feeding conditions.

Bees are primarily responsible for regulating the human food supply by pollinating a high percentage of plants. It was discovered that only 2% of bees pollinate 80% of the harvest in the whole world.

Bees are incredibly hard-working beings apart from the fact that they are a small insect. If this tiny 2% is lost, 80% of our food will also disappear from crops. Fruits like apples, oranges, avocados, blueberries, broccoli, onions, almonds and so on.

The decline of bees means no food.

Bees are also responsible for the promotion and preservation of traditional and cultural values. Take, for instance, in ancient years, honey from bees offers medical benefits associated with antibacterial and diabetic agents. In countries like Egypt, Spain and China, bees are associated with heritage, art and also a specific social relationship.

Bees, as said earlier, are essential in the nutrition of other living organisms both plants and animals. They are known to be a significant integral part of many ecosystems. If they are lost, birds, mice, squirrels, flowers and weeds are lost in the same way.

Different measures that can help save bees:

Every house should plant a bee garden

To achieve a bee-friendly garden, start by choosing native plants or buying flowers that bloom all year round.

Avoid pesticides and go organic

Plant a bee garden and save the decline of our bees

The best way to support bees and promote colonial survival is to avoid pesticides. Buying organic food and plant material is easy but it might be expensive. However, if you have the opportunity to develop your own, you may be better off.

If you need to use a pesticide, read the label to determine if it is toxic to bees before you buy it. The use of herbicides should be reduced because they are also toxic to bees. Herbicides kill the flowering “weeds” that the bees need to feed.

Build  a bee apiary

Beekeepers are dedicated to saving the bees

Bees are loners and need specific protection areas to nest and care for their larvae. Building a hotel or apiary is simple and offers additional space if fewer natural houses are available. Ideally, maintain a variety of flowers or trees with a good number of flowers for each species.

 

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