Thrilling Time-Lapse of Developing Bees Shows a Cause of Colony Collapse

May 22, 2015

From: takepart

Photographer Anand Varma kept a hive in his backyard to capture what’s affecting the growth of the pollinators.

Staff Writer Liz Dwyer has written about race, parenting, and social justice for several national publications. She was previously education editor at Good.


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There’s no explanation on the video, but as Varma explains in the video below of a TED Talk he gave in March in Vancouver, British Columbia, the mites suck the blood from the vulnerable, growing bees, contributing to colony collapse disorder. “This eventually destroys a hive because it weakens the immune system of the bees, and it makes them more vulnerable to stress and disease,” says Varma.

As Varma shares in his talk, scientists working in an experimental program at the USDA Bee Research Laboratory in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, have figured out how to breed bees that can survive attacks by the parasitic mites, and they’re introducing them to the wild. Although this “makes it sound like we’re manipulating and exploiting bees,” says Varma, “the truth is we’ve been doing that for thousands of years.” If the experiment works, more of the insects will be around to keep pollinating the crops millions of people depend on for food.

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