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Disappearance of Honey Bees
Disappearance of Honey Bees in the U.S. and the World
The Honey Bee has played a very specific and important role for well over 1,000,000 years. Honey Bees pollinate flowers, fruits, vegetables, and make honey. Honey Bees are vital to the sustainability of human and animal life because they are able to keep the food chain in balance by maintaining plant life. Fairly recently, there has been an extreme decrease in the Honey Bee population throughout the world. Millions of Honey Bees have left their hives and died off without any logical explanation. This epidemic is called Colony Collapse Disorder, or CCD. There are some theories as to why this is happening but we are still not 100% sure. It is very important to raise awareness about this terrible phenomenon in order to find out why this is happening, and more importantly, how to stop it.
Over the past several years humans have noticed a decrease in the amount of bees populating the world. This is affecting all aspects of our society and will continue to upset the eco system if we do not find a way to stop this epidemic. The disappearance of Honey Bees is affecting bee keepers, crop pollination and flower pollination. Because of this massive decline in the global Honey Bee population, one of the most profitable crops in America, the almond, which is pollinated by the honey bee, is now in short supply.
“I have never seen anything like it,” Mr. Bradshaw, 50, said from an almond orchard here beginning to bloom. “Box after box after box are just empty. There’s nobody home.”
Just how bad is Colony Collapse Disorder?
dead Honey Bee
Cornell University recently conducted a study estimating that Honey Bees pollinate more than 14 Billion dollars worth of crops, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables each year. With the large number of bees dying off as a result of Colony Collapse Disorder, the demand for bees to continue this high rate of crop pollination is increasing while the bee population is decreasing, making this even more of a global concern.
This graph shows that Honey Bees are directly responsible for pollinating a wide variety of crops ranging from fruits to nuts to vegetables. The more the bee population continues to decline, the greater impact it will have on the sustainability of these crops; resulting in a scarcity of food for both humans and other animals. This decline could severely upset the food chain and create an even bigger catastrophe for our planet.
This graph represents the percentage of commercial Honey Bee operations that suffered from CCD in he U.S. in the winter of 06-07. This survey shows that 23% of the commercial bee operations suffered. This survey was only recorded during one season and demonstrates how large of a population decrease will continue to occur if this problem is not corrected.
This Graph shows the long term affects of CCD over the past several years. It explains that 70% of managed colonies have disappeared which is the majority of the U.S. Bee population. If we do not discover what is behind the disappearance of these bees it is very possible that this species will become extinct in the near future.
What can we do to stop it?
We cannot put and end to his terrible affliction until we discover a valid cause. So far, no one knows exactly what is causing the major decrease in the bee population. Some scientists have theorized that the Honey Bee's disappearance is linked to cell phone radiation. This theory has recently been refuted as the cause of the CCD. There have been a lot of false rumors on the internet that Albert Einstein theorized that if bees disappeared, human kind would only have 4 years to live. Albert Einstein never said that quote but he did say this
"It is evident, therefore, that the dependence of the individual upon society is a fact of nature which cannot be abolished—just as in the case of ants and bees."
Scientists are now frantically trying to uncover the true cause for this phenomenon as more bees continue to disappear. It is up to us as a community to raise awareness about this problem in an effort to accelerate the discovery of a viable cause for CCD that will hopefully lead to a solution.
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