The Plight of Our Honey Bees
Honeybees are crucial for our survival as a species. But do you know why the life of one honeybee is so important to you or your family?
In January of 2018, two boys were charged with killing a half million honeybees when they destroyed a beekeeper’s hive boxes. I highly doubt these mischievous boys had any inclination to the environmental impact of their terrible choices. Fifty hives were destroyed in a Christmas break act of vandalism and the bees were left to freeze in the elements. Their carcasses littered the snow.
With all the challenges we are facing with declining populations of bees, we certainly don’t need senseless acts like this adding to the growing death toll. Scientists have been warning for years about the decline of bee populations due to many factors including:
- Industrial agriculture practices
- Pesticides — especially widespread agricultural use of
- Habitat loss — less forage and shelter for bees
- Loss of flowers/food — land clearing and climate change-induced flower deficits affect the bees’ abilities to locate enough food to support the same population size
- Climate change — shift in warm-edge of temperature ranges, the bees aren’t migrating to cooler, more tolerable temperatures
- Neonicotinoids — in pesticides, bees seem to prefer flowers laced with this and become “intoxicated” and cannot find their way back to the hive
For further reading on this — Excellent article on bee decline.
We all know honeybees are crucial elements of our environmental fabric — but do we know how they are important or why it is important for us to step in on their behalf? From the warnings of Rachel Carson to the reality of today, we’ve come a long way, but is it enough?