Why Are Our Bees Dying?
If you or your family have a garden at home in which you grow flowers, vegetables, or fruit, you know that there are three main things that most plants need for success: water, sunlight, and pollination. Each one is equally as important as the next. But what happens when you remove one of these? That is what many people are afraid of with the recent reports on increased mortality rates of bees around the world.
Pollination is unbelievably important when it comes to the growth of plants. Pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, carry pollen from one part of a flower to another, which then fertilizes the plant. This fertilization allows the plant to make fruit and seeds; the fruit for us to eat, and the seeds to grow more plants. With roughly 75 to 90 percent of the plants in the world needing pollination to grow and produce fruit, the survival of these pollinators is immensely important.
Though the spreading of current diseases could affect the numbers, most are certain that the drop of bee population is directly related to the use of unhealthy pesticides. Although the pesticides get rid of the bad bugs, they are negatively affecting the good ones as well. The most influential of these pesticides are in the neonicotinoid family, with the most common pesticide used being imidacloprid. These toxic materials have contributed to the premature death of millions of bees each year. During a Canadian beekeeping operation in 2011, over 37 million bees had died during that month from pesticides.
The food industry created by plants needing pollination adds over 217 billion dollars to the global economy every year. Bees are also part of a diverse ecosystem that are essential for other animals within their habitat. The death of any wild animals is tragic, but one of this proportion is something that we should all be aware of. One out of every three bites of food on our table are created by the pollination of these insects. We should do our best to protect them and preserve their environment.