The Importance of Bees to the Environment

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Pollinators are very important to the environment because many plant species rely on reproduction to be carried out by pollination1. Bees are dependent on plants for pollen and nectar and in return, are the most common pollinator of plant species and around 90 percent of plants require pollination by an animal7. Bees are used in farming, both for pollinating crops and for producing honey, and the estimated value of bees to the United Kingdom is £400 million per year9. Plants are the primary producers in many food webs and, as so many are dependent on pollination in order to reproduce, a decline in pollinators would have a detrimental effect to whole ecosystems. Therefore, the declining numbers of pollinators, particularly bees, are a cause…show more content…
If the cause of death is a specific pesticide or other chemical used in agriculture, such as the pesticides investigated by LaJeuness (2014), then measures need to be taken to restrict the use of the pesticide to limit the effect on the environment.5 A lot of research is currently happening, looking into the causes of colony collapse disorder and ways to solve pathogenic problems. Oldroyd (2007) suggests that the cause is unlikely to be one problem but possibly a combination, such as infection from a normally symptomless pathogen being worsened by stress brought on by weather changes or low nutrition. Some pathogens are no longer affected by pesticides used by bee keepers because resistance has been developed in the pathogens and this could be a cause for the increase in deaths. Bromenshenk et al (2010) found a link between the presence of the Iridovirus and Nosema in individuals and whether the colony was functioning normally or had collapsed, using mass spectrometry- based proteomics. They found that the colony was more likely to have collapsed when both the Iridovirus and Nosema2,4 were present. The research labs would investigate several possible causes: viral infection, pesticides and loss of habitat to pinpoint the cause, or causes, of the bee decline. In this way, the exact problems affecting bee numbers can be investigated and solved. However, some causes of the bee

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