The Great Honeybee Die-Off

One may not realize it but the world’s food supply is extremely dependent on an insect we see in our yards every year about this time, the honeybee. It has been estimated that more than a third of the food we consume in the U.S. is in some way linked to pollination by honeybees. This poses a real problem considering one-third of the nations honeybee colonies were wiped out last year.

According to scientists, pesticides are partly to blame for the large decline in population. A largely popular pesticide being used in the U.S., neonicotinoids, are extremely hazardous to the health of the bees. A pesticide that keeps pests away from crops but also reduces pollination of those crops to almost nothing is counterproductive. Another culprit in the decline of the honeybee population is a parasitic organism known as Varroa destructor mites. This parasite greatly reduces the overall well-being of the bees by transmitting viruses and other parasites and lowering overall immunity to other health defects.

For more details concerning the loss of the nation’s honeybee colonies, read the full article at www.wired.com.

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