The Honey Bee : The Consequences And Effects Of Honey Bees

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The honey bee (Apis mellifera) has long been valued for its production of honey, and its pollination abilities. This long-standing relationship between man and honey bee can be dated back 10,000 years where in Valencia, Spain, a cave painting shows a man climbing a cliff to collect honey from a wild swarm of bees [Benjamin. A, 2009]. However, the honey bee also plays a crucial part in the ecosystem [Potts. S.G, 2010a]. Apis mellifera is used globally to enhance agricultural production, with an increase of 96% yield documented in animal-pollinated plants [Klein. A.M, 2007]. Declines of domestic honey bee colonies in Europe have shown a 25% loss of in the years of 1985 and 2005 [Potts. S.G, 2010b].

Several theories have been suggested for the decline, including some more bizarre than others. Examples of these ideas include mobile phones interrupting the bee's ability to navigate, and even suggesting the cause to be a plot by Al-Qaida to destroy agriculture in the USA [Benjamin. A, 2009]. Pesticide use has always been in contention as the root of the various declines. In the USA, most colony losses were resultant to pesticide exposure [Johnson. R.M, 2010]. In 1994, a 40% decline of colonies was seen in France. During the investigation, multiple sources came up with the same explanation; a new pesticide was being used [Benjamin. A, 2009]. Bee deaths as a result of pesticide poisoning have become all too common, dating back to the use of synthetic pesticides after the second

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