Save The Bees


  • Outbreak- the start of something sudden and rapid. The word has a negative connotation as it can relate to wars, violence, disease, etc.
  • Detrimental- the word describes something that will cause harm or damage
  • Ecological- can refer to practices or policies that are environmentally safe and friendly. It also has to do with the interactions of living organisms with the environment as well as other organisms.
  • Plight- unfortunate or dangerous situation
  • Vital- the word describes something important or crucial to another person place or thing and without it, most likely there will be negative effects
  • Accelerate- to increase of speed up
-How has the bee population changed over time?

Bees play a huge role in the survival of our ecosystem but in 2006, a sudden outbreak of colony collapse disorder began and started a trend of disappearing bees. In fact, from 2006-2010, “annual losses have hovered in the 30 percent range” whereas normal winter losses ranged around 15 percent. The annual bee loss percentage has doubled since CCD began and the decline in bees has accelerated sharply. At this point they are really in danger of going extinct. According to Jim Pinkerton, who owns around 30 hives in Mount Joy Borough, losing one hive was shameful before colony collapse disorder began, but "now, if you get through the winter with half your hives, you're doing pretty good." The fact that losing half your hives is considered good luck really shows the plight bees are currently in.

-What is colony collapse disorder?

Colony collapse disorder, or CCD, is a phenomenon where worker bees mysteriously abandon their hive. Many reported this incident and claimed that no signs of dead bees were found around the hive and only the queen bee, a few nurse bees were left to take care of the immature bees. According to the USDA, “in late 2006, beekeepers became alarmed by the sudden death of honeybee colonies across the U.S.,” and “28 percent of beekeepers in the U.S., 65 percent of states, and 44 percent of beekeepers worldwide have reported colony loss due to CCD. Many are bewildered of the fact that worker bees are leaving their hive as it is against their natural instincts but a solution must be found as CCD has taken a major toll on the bee population. Joe Traynor, a Bakersfield-based bee broker claims that "this collapse is very sudden...It does not take weeks to months to play out. You can go from a strong colony to an empty box in a couple weeks to even two or three days." CCD is clearly a very disturbing and serious problem and it is still confusing as to why it occurs.

-Why are bees disappearing?

There are various factors that people believe contribute the the decline of bees and that includes pesticide use, parasites, genetic problems, poor nutrition or GMO plants. According to a report made by the Environmental Protection Agency, “declines in managed bee colonies have been noted for decades, but they increased in the late 1980s due to a parasitic mite infestation.” Toxic insecticides are often used on field crops and home gardens and this clearly and heavily affects the bees as they are not only sensitive to the environment but also have to be exposed to dangerous chemicals that kill them. Don Jackson, president of the North Central Beekeepers Association warned people to be careful of the sprays they used in their gardens, as "there are wild insects that do a lot of pollinating, particularly bumble bees," thus "people need to be very careful about their agricultural chemicals." If frequent pesticide and other harmful chemical use continues to occur and nothing is done to help them, it is evident that there will be consequences that not only affects bees but humans as well.

-How will this affect the nation’s food supply

A majority of crops require the pollination of bees thus the decline in bees will be extremely detrimental to the nation's food supply. Food that requires bee pollination includes, fruits, vegetables, nuts, spices, and edible oils as well. According to the USDA, “Pollination accounts for $15 billion in added crop value”. Thus if bees are gone, all of our staple crops will no longer be available. Essentially, this means humans would not be able to survive without bees. Future generations will not even know what certain crops that we consider common today are. In fact, Don Jackson, president of the North Central Beekeepers Association stated that “In general, bee pollination is responsible for a third of the food on grocery store shelves.” Overall, without bee pollination, our world would go through a major food crisis, over $15 billion would be lost in the US farms and food industry, and prices of food will go up.

-How can we help?

There are many things that can help save the bees, and that includes buying organic produce, planting more flowers, using less pesticides, ecological farming and beekeeping. Friends of the Earth campaigners say to “Grow bee-friendly plants. Whether you have a back garden, an allotment, or a window box, planting will be important to bees.” Bees are already losing their habitat due to frequent pesticide use and creating a bee-friendly environment in gardens is extremely vital in providing a secure habitat for bees. In addition, Alex Rusciano, an Iowa and Peoria beekeeper from 2009 to 2013, states that it is important “to have people step up if they can and help by either not using pesticides or by doing a backyard hive, because that just will help sustain the population." People bringing in hives of their own is a very good thing if they do it right, as it spreads genetic diversity which increases a colony’s chance of survival. In fact, a study from the USDA found that “48 percent of colonies with queens who had mated at least seven times were still alive at the end of the season. Only 17 percent of the less genetically diverse colonies survived.” Although 48 percent is still a low survival rate, the study confirms that genetic diversity among bees is extremely crucial to their survival and beekeeping is a great way to achieve that.

Works Cited

Bickett, Spenser. "Buzzing with activism." Brainerd Dispatch. 15 Jan. 2017. Accessed 25 Jan.2017

Crable, Ad. "How to Help." Lnp, May 23 2016, ProQuest Newsstand, Accessed 26 Jan. 2017.

Lauren, Elliott. "Bees Are Now an Official Endangered Species in the U.S." Lady Freethinker, 04 Jan. 2017. Accessed 24 Jan. 2017.

Seidler, Erin. "Honeybees dying quickly; pollination solution necessary." Northwestern Media, 27 Dec. 2016. Accessed 24 Jan. 2017.


Created with images by Kjerstin_Michaela - "bumblebee baby bee" • KOMUnews - "Local Beekeepers React to Plan to Save Bees, Other Pollinators" • ukahbob777 - "God save the queen!" • FromSandToGlass - "Save the Bees" • Kelly Parker McPherson - "Save the Bee's 🐝 #bees #honey #pollen #animal #stripes #yellow #black #lavender #purple #animals #bug #bugs #bugslife #closeup #creature #creatures #earth #igers #insect #insects #instanature #lovenature #macro #macro_creature_feature #macrogard" • orangeaurochs - "Honey bee on a dandelion, Sandy, Bedfordshire" • KOMUnews - "Local Beekeepers React to Plan to Save Bees, Other Pollinators"

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