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Global warming and the bee-buzz

November 15, 2013 1:05 PM |

“With all of the hysteria, all of the fear, all of the phony science, could it be that man-made global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people?” Now, one might beg to differ with U.S. Senator James Inhofe’s skepticism as it has been proven that levels of gases in the atmosphere that drive global warming reached a record high last year.

The primary gas emitted by human activities, i.e. carbon dioxide, is growing faster than ever before. But do you know that not only greenhouse gas emissions but also several other factors lead to global warming. (For more stories on global warming, click here) Global warming, among its many harmful effects, also includes the declining rate of bee populations. Global warming has been increasing the growth rate of pathogens like mites, viruses and fungi which take a toll on bee colonies. Fluctuations in weather due to global warming are also wreaking havoc on honeybees that require consistent weather patterns for their existence.

Kids across the world may revel in the fact that bees no longer threaten their playfulness on playgrounds and in backyards, but this significantly results in environmental imbalance and negatively impacts our agricultural food supply. In recent years, honeybee population seems to be plummeting at an alarming rate. This situation, termed as colony collapse disorder (CCD), has raised a major cause of concern across the globe.

Importance of Honeybees for the environment

Honeybees not only produce honey but they are also responsible for the production of several farm-grown foods, including many fruits and nuts.

Causes of decline in honeybee

The increasing use of chemical pesticides and herbicides in crops could be a major reason. The honeybees tend to ingest these harmful chemicals during their daily pollination rounds. Even commercial beehives are at times subjected to direct chemical fumigation to ward off destructive mites.

Do GM crops result in decline of honeybee?

Genetically modified crops generate pollen with compromised nutritional value and thereby, stressing bee populations to the point of collapse.

As scientists continue to look for ways and means to control and reduce colony collapse disorder, people are left wondering why these extraordinarily intelligent creatures are abandoning their hives and disappearing into thin air. Considering the fact that bees are responsible for pollinating about 70 percent of the world’s agricultural crops, the disastrous issue of CCD is now of universal concern.

picture courtesy- sirtweets

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