by Jessica Snow,
P.O.V. Contributing Writer
The scientists were stunned; with just a glimpse, they could see the sudden decrease in the bee species. The honey bees were missing. Puzzled, so many questions ran though their heads in search of a logical explanation for the disappearance. With the risk of extinction hovering overhead, every equation must be worked though before our future is destined to be without the honey bee.
Since the 1900's, documents recorded the decline of the honey bee. Bees play a huge role in U.S. and world food production. We depend on them for the pollination of over 70 different crops; one-third of the crops in the U.S. Of course, every year the amount of food needed increases.
Studies have focused mainly on environmental issues. The most logical conclusion is any combination of these factors that could send a colony into shock:
- Poor diet
- Limited gene pool
- Radio waves
- Climate change
All these factors are the underlying cause of Colony Collapse Disorder. It's had several different names over the 100+ years since this issue with bees was first discovered, but the mystery to the key issues still hasn't been solved. Scientists and beekeepers notice the same symptoms occurring all over the world.
The first noticeable symptoms of C.C.D. are:
- Younger worker bees
- Lack of worker bees
- Rejection of supplement provided by beekeepers
The second stage is the most concerning:
- Hives left with eggs/larva
- Storage of honey and pollen
- The queen is left behind in the hive
These rare actions are a huge concern. Our advancement in technology and science has left it up to the human race to help the Earth and all the creatures with which we co-exist. Even though the U.S.D.A. reported a 34 percent loss of bees and their colonies in 2010 and a 30 percent loss in 2011, any percentage of loss can affect us in the long run.
So what can we do, or can anything be done to help? Recently, the U.S. Forest Service began helping with bee-monitoring. Within your own garden, planting flowers that will attract bees will make difference. Digitails, cloves and dandelions are a few of the honey bees' favorites. Make sure also to avoid any pesticide containing clothianidin, since itwas shown to be one of the contributing factors of colony collapse disorder.
Being aware of an issue is the first step in the recovery process. A lot of our necessities to live are not 100% ours to take. This small but busy creature helps sustain human life. We may not notice its impact on our society, but helping the the honey bee in its time of crisis is the least we can do to show our thanks.
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