For many with bad childhood memories of bee stings, the dwindling number of bees in the summer has been a godsend. However, the importance of bees to the ecosystem cannot be understated, and their role is being put at risk by a disease called Colony Collapse Disorder.
Colony Collapse Disorder is a mysterious phenomenon where the majority of worker bees will simply abandon their hive and their queen at once, an act that goes against all their genetic programming. As of yet, scientists still don’t know the exact reason for Colony Collapse Disorder, but are examining many possible Colony Collapse Disorder causes and how they interact.
What is known is that between 2007 and 2013, 10 million beehives died due to Colony Collapse Disorder, or twice the traditional rate. The loss of honey bees became so severe in some areas that farmers had to rent bees in order to pollinate their crops.
While the bee population has stabilized in recent years, Colony Collapse Disorder’s mysterious causes mean that the resurgence of Colony Collapse Disorder remains a serious threat to the environment.
Colony Collapse Disorder Causes
While there are numerous possible Colony Collapse Disorder causes, scientific studies have isolated a number of Colony Collapse Disorder causes that are the most likely culprits.
Many scientists believe that some types of pesticides, in particular neonicotinoids which are chemically similar to nicotine, might be a primary cause of Colony Collapse Disorder as honey bees come into contact with the substances as they pollinate crops.
Climate change and its associated extreme weather incidents have also been cited as likely Colony Collapse Disorder causes in a variety of different ways. Not only does climate change cause plant life to dwindle, but bees’ foraging patterns are intimately linked to the weather. For instance, bees do not go out in the rain and seek out liquid instead of nectar during extreme heat. As such, prolonged rainy periods or drought conditions might be disturbing their ingrained routines in ways we don’t fully understand.
Drought conditions in particular, which have been on the rise in the North America, have been negatively affecting bees’ diets due to the loss of plant life.
The Importance of Bees
If you’re still not convinced that the destruction of bee populations isn’t a net positive, here are some things you need to remember about the importance of bees.
- One third of the food we eat on a daily basis is pollinated by honey bees
- The worth of bee-pollinated crops is around $200 billion yearly worldwide.
- Bees pollinate 75 per cent of plant species that contribute to human consumption.
All of this is to say that the importance of bees cannot be understated, even if they are a prime annoyance in the warmer months.
We at Terminix Canada understand the importance of bees, as well as the danger of bee hives on your property. We use humane, ethical, and pesticide-free pest control solutions to remove troublesome bee hives and hornet nests from your backyard. Contact us today to make your bee problems buzz off!