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Why are Disappearing Bees a Serious Concern to the Environment?
Why are missing bees a concern? How to help disappearing bees survive and thrive? Are certain types of bees more at risk? Find out about the bee life cycle and why bees and pollination are important.
Missing bees are signaling important environmental issues.
Disappearing bees are an issue because honey bees pollinate our grains, fruits, and vegetables. Our meats come from animals that are fed grains. Our milk and dairy products come from grain fed animals. The entire agriculture cycle would be affected by disappearing bees.
There are about 20,000 different bee species in the world, including honey bees, bumble bees, ground bees, orchid bees and many more.
During the past decade, more and more disappearing or missing bees have been reported.
Entire bee hives have collapsed as the bees never return and, in fact, disappear. This issue has been named as "colony collapse disorder" and it is now becoming recognized as a world wide issue.
In the United States, there has been a reported 30% decrease in honey bee population over the last three years. The cause of the missing bees is still undetermined although scientists are looking at genetically modified foods, wireless technology, pesticides, parasites, and potentially new viruses.
It is important for us to recognize what impact our actions and our interference has on wildlife. By commercializing bee colonies, we have provided a much easier target for mite infestations and transmissions (many colonies all in close proximity with one another).
By genetically modifying foods we are interrupting natures balance. By using pesticides and intensive farming techniques we are wiping out bee hives and bee colonies. We have interfered with the bee life cycle and now are witnessing the impact; disappearing bees.
Bees and pollination are of critical importance to our agriculture and, therefore, to our world's food supply.
To understand bees, it is necessary to know more about them:
Types of Bees or the 'Family Structure' of the Colony
Bees and Pollination
There are three types of pollination: self pollination, pollination by a different flower within the same plant, and pollination from a different plant (also known as cross-pollination).
Wind and/or bees are primarily responsible for cross-pollination. Honey bees are very efficient at pollination. The entire colony over-winters and therefore they are ready to 'work' in the Spring when the flowers arrive.
The Honey Bees have forked body hairs and a pollen 'basket' that allow them to carry pollen back to the colony. It is the overflow of pollen, and the travel from flower to flower, that does the job of cross-pollinating. Honey bees have an effective communication system amongst themselves to direct bees to flowering plants and crops. Bees are attracted to flowers and flowering plants and crops by sight (through color) and smell.
Reasons for Disappearing Bees
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