“If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would have only four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.” – Albert Einstein
The New York Times reported yesterday that the prolonged and mysterious die-off of the nation’s honeybee worsened last year.
Honeybee colonies are expected to die during the winter months.
What’s completely shocking to the scientific community is that last year, the losses in the summer months, the time that is paradise for bees, exceeded the deaths in the winter months. And no one knows why.
There are three possible culprits:
1. Poor nutrition: the rising crop prices have led farmers to plow and plant millions of acres of land that once was home to wildflowers.
2. The Varroa mite, a parasite that attacks bees, weakening and shortening their life span until they eventually die.
3. Pesticides known as neonicotinoids.
Neonicotinoids are a class of pesticides used almost universally on some major crops in the United States. Meanwhile, the European Commission has banned the use of the pesticide on flowering plants, citing risks to bees, and the commission questions whether the pesticide should be used at all.
The New York Times reports that “the Environmental Protection Agency said last month that it was unlikely to approve any new uses of the pesticides until more tests on the risks to bees and other pollinators have been completed.”
Of course, neonicotinoid manufacturers claim the pesticide is safe when used “according to instructions.”
So, what do you think is to blame? Sound off below.
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ora Media, LLC its affiliates, or its employees.
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