Honey Bees Serve A Critical Role Of Agriculture

1982 WordsAug 1, 20168 Pages
A ubiquitous species found everywhere except Antarctica, honey bees serve a critical role in agriculture. A third of the world’s food supply is dependent on pollinators such as them (Healey). In the United States alone, an estimate of 2.4 million bee colonies, both native and managed colonies, pollinate crops (“The Importance of Pollinators”). However, in the 2015-2016 survey conducted by the Bee Informed Partnership, beekeepers across the nation lost 44.1 percent of their honey bee colonies, an increase of 3.5 percent over the previous study year (The Bee Informed Team). The decline is not a recent phenomenon; the number of colonies in the United States has fallen from six million in 1947 (Mathiesan and Goldenberg) to the 2.4 million today. Honey bee decline is due to a broad spectrum of causes, from human activities to diseases (“The Importance of Pollinators”), which have been widely studied by scientists to create conservation plans. Research and conservation efforts have been taken to help preserve the remaining honey bee populations in three particular areas: managing pesticide laws and regulations, providing adequate habitat, and conserving genetic diversity. Use of pesticides is one of the most significant causes behind the current decline of honey bee colonies. One particular group of pesticides is neonicotinoid pesticides, which includes clothianidin, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam, as an alternative to DDT (Crawford). Popular with farmers, they are systemic
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