Ecology And Environment

The causes of the Decline in Honey Bee Populations



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The losses of honey bee populations continue to rise all across the United States. Diseases from pesticides are thought to be one of the causes. Honey bees are very essential for pollination of many plants, fruits and vegetables. Billions of honey bees are just disappearing. This can cause food supplies to be at serious risk. Scientists call the mass disappearance of bees CCD or Colony Collapse Disorder. Toxins in the environment are known to cause disease to the bees. These diseases are known to compromise the bees immune systems. There is a parasite that attacks honey bees and it is called the varroa mite. This mite causes the bees to have deformed wings and abdomens. The mite can also carry and transmit viruses.

Loss of the bee foraging grounds are another cause. There is not one single cause alone contributing to this problem, but many. Another cause may be increased exposure to global pathogens. Pests, viruses and parasites all work together to keep these honey bees stressed. This leaves the honey bees to fight a huge battle to survive. Climate conditions and changes only add to the problem. Hive destruction is another cause of the declining honey bee populations. Many hives are destroyed by homeowners. Light pollution is another cause because the use of outside artificial lights are known to interfere with their navigational ability. Air pollution is yet another reason for the decline of honey bee populations.

The honey bee decline is believed to be a crisis. Many farmers depend on the honey bees to pollinate their crops. Many actions are now being taken to slow the decline of the honey bee population. Many farmers are losing their crops because of the honey bee shortage. Honey bees are very essential to the almond blossom crops in California. Many community farmers are really struggling to get honey bees for pollination. Mite infestation can completely wipe a bee colony out in just a few short months. Another cause of the declining bees is the tracheal mite. This mite is known to clog breathing tubes in bees and cause them to suffocate. These mites also interfere with the honey bee's ability to fly. Since part of the problem is pesticides, alternative measures are being taken to control these mites. Beekeeping is now considered to be a very difficult business. Techniques that are underway to help save the declining bees are very slow. This is making many beekeepers very desparate.


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ARTICLE SOURCES AND CITATIONS
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://www.sciencedaily.com/videos/2007/0703-honeybee_decline.htm
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/01/colony-collapse-lives/
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/10/1005_041005_honeybees_2.html