Bees have inhabited our planet for 120 million years and humans have interacted with them continuously throughout their lives. The first evidence of such interaction was recorded in the Cuevas de la Araña, or Spider Caves in Valencia, Spain. Nowadays beekeepers around the world are experiencing a record decline in bee numbers. The situation is getting worse from year to year. The mass mortality of useful insects can have serious consequences. There are a number of reasons that have a significant impact on mortality. What are these reasons? And which ones can be improved? How can we help bees to stay healthy?
About these serious moments – in our article. Read to the end so that you don’t miss out on anything.
What would happen if the bees died
Of course, we do not want to think about such a problem scale, and yet it is possible. With such a development, the consequences will be sad not only for humans, but also for nature as a whole. Specifically:
– Honey, propolis, pollen, royal jelly and other bee products, about the invaluable benefits of which everyone has heard, will go into history
– There will be no one to pollinate a number of plants: apple and pear trees, grapes and coffee, lucerne, cotton and many others. As a consequence, they too will gradually disappear.
– There will be fewer plant foods. This will lead to higher prices and health problems. And in some countries, starvation is possible.
All this will happen if bees disappear abruptly. With a gradual decrease in the number of striped labourers, people’s lives will also change not for the better. Therefore, it is in our interest to preserve these insects on the planet.
5 Reasons why bees die
In fact, there are many more reasons, and even experienced beekeepers sometimes cannot determine why bees die. However, there are still 5 main ones.
1. Use of pesticides.
The use of pesticides in agriculture to cultivate fields has a very negative effect on the life of bees. If there is pesticide treatment around where the bees nest, it is very difficult to protect them. The bees fly from flower to flower and cannot distinguish which one has been treated and which one has not. In addition, an infected bee flying back to the hive can spread the poison in the hive by coming into contact with other bees.
Pesticides deprive bees of the ability to navigate in space, weaken their immune system making them vulnerable to various diseases.
Many countries ban the use of harmful pesticides and seek alternative and safe ways to protect plants. At the same time, in other countries these same pesticides are authorised for use.
2. Habitat loss for bees.
The population on our planet is increasing. We are using more and more space for industrial buildings, shopping centres, airports, roads, houses. We are expanding the area for agriculture. All of this leads to less and less habitat for bees. They have less and less of the natural meadows with wild honeybees that are so essential for their balanced diet.
We may not be able to stop this process completely, but we need to keep this in mind and take the necessary measures to compensate for the reduction in habitat for bees. We need to leave areas for natural meadows outside the city. Use the empty spaces for planting honeybee plants. Even in the city, find opportunities to grow plants that will be beneficial to bees.
3. Climate change.
Climate change on the planet is having a great impact on the lives of its inhabitants. We are now seeing drought in some areas and flooding in others.
Changes in nature lead to changes in the life cycle of bees. And in case of such changes, bees cannot move to another area as birds do. They have to suffer from this and very often die from such irreversible changes.
4. Genetically modified crops.
There is a theory that genetically modified seeds are the cause of bee population decline. But at the moment there is no evidence for this, as the research that is being done is about the effect of these seeds on humans, not on bees.
5. Diseases of bees.
Like all creatures, bees are susceptible to disease. The immunity of bees is weakened by pesticides, habitat loss and climate change. The Varoa mite is a huge threat to bees, which literally sucks the bees’ energy, making them weak.
Apart from varroa, there are diseases such as Ascosphaerosis, Aspergillosis, European foulbrood, American foulbrood, Braulosis, Nosema.
In conclusion, we can see that there are many reasons why the number of bees on the planet is decreasing. Our task is to do as much as possible to prevent this from happening. For example, reduce the amount of pesticides used, preserve natural habitats, grow and consume organic food. If you have a garden, if possible plant it with honey plants that bees can use.