Have you noticed an increase in some of your favorite produce or brands of honey? It's not just “Buzz the Cheerios Bee” that disappeared back in 2017. Unfortunately, we are seeing a drastic decline in the bee population worldwide. There has been a 60% reduction in the bee population from 1947 to 2008. In 2019 a 40?crease in population was reported in a single winter. This has left scientists scrambling to figure out what is plaguing our tiny pollinators.
In 2016, seven species of Yellow Face bees, native to Hawaii, were placed on the endangered species list. As of March 19, 2019, that number jumped up to 18 endangered species with half of those being listed as critically endangered globally. 16 species of bees are being categorized as vulnerable and on the brink of being listed as endangered if something is not done to change the course of things. Now I hear you ask why? What is killing our tiny friends?
First, pesticides such as neonicotides and fungicides are particularly harmful to the bee. Neonicotinoids are a class of chemicals that are extremely harmful to the bee. They affect the central nervous system. Depending on exposure, effects can range from difficulties with flight and navigation, acquisition of new skills, to leaving the bee unable to fly or even walk, convulsing on the ground. After several hours, the bee finally shuts down and dies. While hiking one day, my husband and I came upon a group of 50 bees or so on the ground in a pile, all convulsing on the ground. There are alternatives when it comes to the decision of what pesticides should be used in our agricultural areas. In fact, neonicotinoids were banned and later released into the environment by past American president Donald Trump. There are also fungicides that when combined with pesticides have a compounded effect that increase the strength, creating an even more lethal impact.
Unfortunately, it doesn't end there. Pesticides and fungicides are just the primary way mankind is harming the bee leading to the decline an hives and overall bee population. Colony collapse disorder (CCD), is the other leading cause to the drastic decline in our global bee population. The most concerning thing about this is the CCD is still not fully understood. Observed colony collapse disorder is when all of the adult male bees leave behind the queen and infant bees despite the hive being well stocked with food and nothing apparently wrong with it. The average loss per year due to CCD is has seen an increase from roughly doubled 15% to 30%. However, these numbers are actually being skewed by the almond industry. Due to the high demand of almonds and the exceedingly high number of bees necessary to produce almonds almond growers have been splitting hives and purchasing more Queens to create more colonies. Therefore we are dealing with two different sets of numbers of hives and then the number of bees in the overall global population. Yet, even with the skewed numbers scientists are extremely concerned about CCD and what is could mean for mankind as well as the bees.
I wish I could tell you that was it that if we could just solve those two things our friends the bees would be fine but unfortunately that is not the case. Bloodsucking parasites are next on the list of what plagues our little friends. The Varro mite carries a virus that causes the bees to lose wings and legs effectively leading to a decrease lifespan.
These are just the three leading factors to the decline in our global bee population. Yet there are so many more as of 2020 we now have Murder Hornets terrorizing beehives in Washington state. We are the over collection an miss collection of honey. Many people don't realize that honey is not only something delicious that we enjoy but actually the food that bees sustain themselves throughout the winter. irresponsible over collection of honey can be just as deadly as anything else listed please check your honey source to make sure they have bee friendly practices.
I know all this information makes the situation look bleak. That's why I founded Bee Amazing & Bee Blissful Coffee. Bees are the only ones that need help. People could use a little inspiration these days as well. That's why Bee Amazing and Bee Blissful with coffee alright here to help the bees and humans save each other.
*Every bee used as part of my bee totems has been thanked for its service and sacrifice. The work of my non-profit is my apology to Earth for my part in her destruction.