Bee’s population is raising a serious issue as it falls significantly in many parts of the world. The newly found cause of concern is colony collapse disorder. Many colonies have disappeared without leaving any trace to consider.
Bees are responsible for pollinating about $15 billion worth of crops in the US each year. The problem of the collapsing colony could lead to major consequences if not fixed on time.
This sweet honey producer is going through hard times. In 2015 alone, 42% of US bee colonies collapsed, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. This shows an increase of an average of 31% from the past several years.
The pesticides are held responsible for damaging brain functions in bees. Due to which bees often get disoriented to their way back to the colony. It is held as one of the major causes of collapsing colonies among many other causes, though a specific reason has not been found, making combating the issue difficult.
“Bees have been available for over 50 million years, and they’ve obtained quite a few changes recognizing there have been ice ages and things like that, I think that bees will adjust to climate change. They can’t adjust things which we do, such as pesticides,” said Doug Penning, who has managed colonies for years and is president of the Cowlitz Beekeepers Association.
Penning thinks there are several factors leading to colony collapse disorder, mainly pesticides, urbanization, climate change, and disease. However, he says pesticides are a big concern. Penning maintains 20 bee colonies at his Coal Creek-area home. He has nursed bees paralyzed by the cold.
The pesticides are applied to an estimated 150 million acres of crops each year, according to the Great Pollinator Project. Neonicotinoid is an insecticide similar to nicotine. According to Panning, colony collapse started at the same time when the chemical came into use in the late 1970s. When bees collect nectar from pesticide-laden plants and make honey, this honey later interferes with their brains when they ingest it — consequently, damaging brain functions.