The worlds colonies are under attack. Agricultural and ecological damage will be devastating if we don’t help.
The bees are dying at extremely alarming rates. Several factors are attributed to CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder). Pesticides, monocrop culture, and changes in environment all affect the bees survival. Beekeepers have been reporting 30 to 90% loss of colonies in 2006. The scientifically proven largest killer of bees is the varroa mite. It weakens the bee's immune system and wreaks havoc among the hives.
A steep drop in populations began, alerting environmentalists. This panic lead to the U.S. importing bees from New Zealand for the first time in 50 years.
Populations continue to fall. Some areas experiencing 30-70% of total colony loss. This is when the term CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder) orginated. Pesticides were a common suspect, but other factors were considered as well. Beekeepers in the U.K. began reporting loss.
Many campaigns to help save the bees start mounting. Government action in the U.K. was demanded including money to research colony collapse disorder. Social media started to take hold of the disappearance of the bees.
There was a continuation of losses in populations. Work conducted in the U.S. by Jeff Pettis in the USDA found that bees often attempted to seal off their cells prior to hives dying off. This was most likely due to a defense mechanism of the bees from contaminates and parasites. No exact link to the disappearance has been discovered, but people began looking past pesticides for answers.
Many studies are now being done to find answers for the disappearing bees. Varroa mites and viruses are at the top of the list of suspected killers. There was a global effort to ban neocotinoids around the world, due to the quick response to blame pesticides and corporations.
Studies by the EPA and USDA start linking the problem to the varroa mite and several viruses to the main problem for the bees. Farmers speak up that banning neocotinoids would destroy crops and the temporary solution would be reckless. A study found that neocotinoids usage in New Zealand had no affect on bees, which was said to affect bees in the U.S. and U.K. The link between both was the involvement of the varroa mite in the hives.
Bees contribute to over 1/3 of our staple crops. This adds up to over $15 billion dollars in value each year. If bees were to disappear, there would be mass shortages of many staple foods and the costs would go straight to consumers.
Our efforts matter in saving the bees, and saving ourselves. If we do not push for legislation to help fund bee research, we can face large scale famine. The agricultural damage would, at the least, impose a great cost to the consumer for over 1/3 of our staple crops. We must get the facts straight on what is truly affecting the bees, the varroa mite, and avoid a fear mongored response towards GMOs, pesticides, and corporations.
Beeraw.com organizes a large scale fund for researching CCD and helping the bees. Donations will go towards helping save our bees and stopping the agricultural destruction.
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Made for Senior Thesis and for the bees.