The Fate of Bees Could Affect Every-Day Life

By Caroline Beatrice
On October 17, 2016

Photo courtesy of Pierre Grand, Flickr

As a health enthusiast, the endangerment of bees is highly alarming. Bees are obviously responsible for the making of honey, yet not many realize pollination is key in a vast amount of foods consumed. Fruits, nuts and honey would all be in jeopardy if bees were to go extinct, not to mention the inevitable toll it would take on the average person’s wallet. Since pollination would then need to be conducted by hand, these products would become much more expensive. If that is not enough incentive to take a stand and fix our ecosystem, I am not sure what is.

Over the last 10 years, beekeepers have reported annual hive losses of 30 percent or higher. However, winter of 2013 proved to be a challenge when beekeepers reported losses of 40 to 50 percent or more, which made it difficult to export crops, especially in the case of fertilizing of California’s almond trees, as reported in a study conducted by Yale Environment 360.

Pesticides and insecticides are proving to be the main problem when it comes to the endangerment of bees. Neonicotinoids are the main culprit in the colonies demise. This common insecticide is toxic to bees, yet grows with the plant, which makes it increasingly difficult for bees to pollinate. Since it is toxic, it has been damaging the immune system of the bees. If these pesticides are used in smaller doses, perhaps it can protect the future of the bees.

Also, since global warming is a rising issue, it is affecting the bees negatively by changing the time they come out of hibernation. In the recent years, bees are coming out of hibernation later, which means the flowers they are used to pollinating have already bloomed and die before the bees get a chance to serve their purpose. This lack of pollination affects plant life and affects the fruit crops we have accepted as a given in our society.

If bees become extinct, the foods we have eating for so long will jump in price. Action needs to be taken and the amount of pesticides on products needs to be cut. Since these plants have grown accustomed to the pesticides, they are all becoming poisonous to bees. If bees are kept in a controlled environment with clean crops, they can thrive, mate and fight their statistical odds of being killed off.

As a honey enthusiast, measures need to be taken to secure the fate of bees. Currently, there is a worldwide shortage of honey and that in itself is a sin. This product is the perfect home remedy for bad skin and colds and if it was no longer in the mix, I would feel lost and cheated. If honey goes, nut trees, fruits and vegetables will also be taking a hit because they rely on bees for pollination as well. The use of neonics needs to be slashed for these bees to have a chance. “The agricultural chemicals industry is extremely powerful and influential, but if Europe can ban neonics, why can’t we?” says Chris Jordan-Bloch of Earthjustice. The only way for these bees to have a fighting chance is to limit the pesticides so they can buzz on.

cbeatric@ramapo.edu

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