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Following the news that almond crops are killing thousands of bees in California, the Bulletin of Insectology released a report that names pesticides as the driving cause of these mass bee deaths. It has long been known that pesticides play a role in causing colony collapse disorder, a phenomenon that causes otherwise healthy bees to desert their hives.
The report from the Bulletin explains that bee hives exposed to low-levels of neonicotinoids – chemicals found in many pesticides – never fully recover from winter losses, making it near impossible for hives to recover their numbers in the spring. One of the most groundbreaking aspects of this report is the revelation that diet, parasites, and pathogens are NOT to blame for what is now a massive drop in bee populations.
So forget what you thought you knew about bee “mites,” the scientific ruling is in and yet again the cause of this species endangerment is, definitely caused by humans and our undying love for chemicals. While pathogens and mites do cause damage to bee populations, the staggering evidence from scientists who conducted extensive studies on bees that had been exposed to neonicotinoids and ones that had not pins pesticides as the colony collapse culprit.
Colony collapse disorder does not kill bees out-right, but impairs their ability to learn, which causes them to forget how to get back to the hive after pollination, forage for food, engage their immune system, and produce new queens. So the neurological effect of pesticides on bees drives a slow death for bees. People often forget that bees are the reason we have food everyday, responsible for pollinating the majority of the crops in the U.S. So if you never thought about how CCD effects you, just remember that every time you bite into an apple, it’s because a bee made it possible.
So please, be kind to the bees and help stop the ridiculous use of pesticides in the U.S.!
Image Source: Ramon F Velasquez/Wikipedia Commons