Getting stung by a bee can hurt, but losing bees forever can hurt even more. It may be hard to see why bees are so important to us, but did you know that 1 of every 3 bites of food we take comes from a pollinated plant or an animal that depends on bee pollination? And yet, since the mid-2000s, bees have been mysteriously vanishing.
RALEIGH — The positive outlook of North Carolina State University Entomologist Dr. David Tarpy is admirable in the face of science’s methodical collection of clues to answer Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) across America among honeybees.
“I think there are several silver linings in the importance of CCD and public awareness is right up there among them,” said Tarpy. “The media’s frantic coverage really presented the importance of bees to our food supply in a way to the public that persists even after the coverage has receded.”
Q: How are the honeybees doing? I don’t hear as much about colony collapse disorder these days.
A: When it made headlines in 2006, colony collapse disorder alarmed entomologists and beekeepers alike. Entire honeybee colonies were dying, threatening beekeepers’ incomes and the farmers and fruits that depend on bees for pollination.
Biologists searching for an effective way to monitor the world’s bee population may have found their answer in simple pan traps.
Changes to global bee populations have been of particular concern recently due to the rise of colony collapse disorder — a phenomenon where worker bees disappear from hives. With around 35 percent of the world’s food supply (around $200 billion-worth) dependent on pollinators like bees, decreases in their number could lead to significant problems with human food crops.
EEG successfully conducted its 12th Community Lecture of the year on the 18th of December 2012, with the film screening of ‘Queen of the Sun: What are the Bees telling us?’ The event which is free and open to the public was hosted by the Canadian University of Dubai.
The event was kicked off with a warm speech by Mr. Farid Ahmed; EEG’s Honorary member, who welcomed the attendees to the 12th Community Lecture.
They were provided with a small brief regarding EEG’s activities during the last month.
Editor’s Note: The Congressional Research Service (CRS) has released a report on bee health, attached here. In the report, CRS states:
A 2007 report by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, Status of Pollinators in North America, provides a more detailed scientific context for this report and may be consulted for more in depth understanding about bee health. That study concluded that many factors contribute to pollinator declines in North America, and CRS accedes to that conclusion. Accordingly, the focus of this report on bee exposure to pesticides is not intended to imply that pesticides are any more important in influencing the health and wellness of bees than any of the other identified factors influencing bee health. Pesticides are only one of the many influences on bee health.
SHEFFIELD, England, Dec. 11 (UPI) — Honeybees’ extreme sensitivity to environmental change has a genetic basis, a study involving British and Australian scientists has found.
Genetic studies suggest links between nutrition, environment and the insects’ development and may offer clues to the origin of Colony Collapse Disorder, a mysterious cause of mass bee deaths globally, a release from the University of Sheffield in Britain said.
Genetics play an important role in honeybees development, researchers found.
“When the queen bee lays her eggs, worker bees can determine whether the resulting larvae are to become an adult worker bee or an adult queen bee,” researcher Paul Hurd from Queen Mary, University of London, said.