The Decline of Honeybees: Implications, Causes, and Responses

3264 Words14 Pages
The lives of humans and honeybees have been intertwined for millennia. For at least 8,000 years, humans have sought honey for applications in disciplines ranging from medicine to the culinary arts. But while humans love honey, honeybees provide a much more valuable service: pollination. As the world’s most prolific pollinator, honeybees are essential to the reproduction of many plant species, which in turn benefits other animals and plants. In fact, humans heavily rely on honeybees to pollinate our own food source, a service that is worth billions of dollars a year. Unfortunately, the honeybee population is in a severe and prolonged decline, often in the form of colony collapse disorder, in which entire colonies are seemingly abandoned by…show more content…
However, many countries are not so fortunate. Ssenoga (2014) wrote, In Uganda, honey bees provide pollination services to such crops as coffee, cotton, beans, peas, mango, citrus, avocado, tomatoes, passion fruits, apples, soya beans, water melons, and several others. Any collapse in the services will have detrimental effects to the livelihoods of the 65.5 percent of rural farmers, who also depend on agriculture for food security. In 2013, nearly half of Ugandans were food energy deficient, 5% suffered from extremely unbalanced diets, and 33% of Ugandan children were stunted (World Food Programme, 2013). In countries like Uganda, which is relatively well-off in comparison to many other African nations, a honeybee shortage resulting in decreased food production could mean starvation for many people. Colony Collapse Disorder The current downward trend in honeybee populations has been punctuated by wide occurrences of colony collapse disorder (CCD). This is not a new phenomenon; the first recorded incident occurred in 1869. Since that time, there have been occurrences of CCD in locations as diverse as Oregon, Australia, and Great Britain, to name a few. In instances of colony collapse disorder, the colony is almost completely absent of adult bees, and there are few if any

More about The Decline of Honeybees: Implications, Causes, and Responses

Open Document