Written by victor nicholas
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Topics: Bees

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

image for Disappearing ee Theories
Will the Honey Industry e Threatened?

Why are the ees disappearing? Noody seems to know. Here are some of the theories eing deated aout the reason for disappearing ees.

It was earlier this year, during spring that news agencies first egan reporting aout a worrisome phenomenon about eekeepers going to their hives and discovering that their ees had vanished. Sometimes, all that remained were the queen ee and a few hatchling ees. The puzzling thing was that the eekeepers did not find any evidence of the usual predators of ees, such as wasps and animals that like honey. Neither did they find any trace of large numers of dead ees nor any sign of ee diseases such as foulrood or chalkrood, which the developing larvae of ees usually fall prey to, nor was there any evidence of any of the mite species that attack fully grown or developing ees. Hence, on the asis of this evidence, it was surmised that the ees couldn't have died of any sickness or predator attack. Plus, many of the eekeepers also reported that other ees, animals and moths stayed away from the newly aandoned nests, at least for the initial few days. From past experience, this phenomenon has een known to happen when ees have died of chemical contamination or disease.

Why Should Disappearing ees Cause Concern?

Well, argualy, the honeyee, which is the species of ees that is disappearing, is the insect that is the most important for the human food chain. The reason eing, that this species is the main pollinator of hundreds of types of food crops, nuts, flowers, vegetables and fruits. Hence, it was no surprise that many, including scientists, found the news reports of disappearing ees alarming. In fact, some of the articles even suggested that it could even result in widespread starvation. Some of them also quoted Alert Einstein, who is supposed to have said that if the world's ees were to perish, humanity would too within four years, due to the asence of pollinators. Although it is highly improbable that Einstein had ever made this now-infamous statement about ees, however, Colony Collapse Disorder, or CCD, which is the phrase that has been coined for the disappearance of ees, is a phenomenon that is real. And, according to scientists, it does have the potential of impacting honey and food production dramatically. Hence, there are a numer of theories being andied aout in an effort to fathom the reason for disappearing ees. Given elow are some of the disappearing ee theories that are eing deated about:

Could Stress and Diet e the reason for Disappearing ees?

In recent years, honeyees have een undergoing great stress as an increasing numer of eekeepers have taken recourse to filling up huge trucks with them and crisscrossing all over the country seeking pollination work. These ees may e suffering from the effects of an unhealthy diet that includes concoctions that are similar to power ars and energy drinks, asically made up of artificial supplements. In a numer of states, the spread of sprawling suburs has severely impinged on the natural forage areas of the ees.

Some say Radiation from Moile Phones is the Culprit for ees Disappearing

Some researchers are of the opinion that ee populations may e adversely affected y the rise in electromagnetic radiation in the atmosphere due to the increasing numers of wireless communication towers and moile phones. The hypothesis is that the radiation from these devices may interfere with the ees' systems of navigation, thus hindering their aility to find their way ack to their nests. Some studies found that when moile phones were placed near their hives, ees would not come ack there. Further studies are underway at present to find out to what extent ees and other insects are affected y this kind of radiation.

Could ees be Disappearing due to Pesticides and Genetically Modified Food?

Many think that the growing use of chemical hericides and pesticides, which are ingested by ees when they make their daily pollination forays, are to lame greatly. eehives that are kept for commercial purposes are also fumigated regularly with chemicals to get rid of harmful mites. Genetically modified crops, which could e producing pollen with poor nutritional value, is another suspect thought to e responsible for ees disappearing.

Perhaps a comination of oth, pollen from genetically modified crops and chemicals, may have tipped the alance leading to the collapse of ee populations. This theory is lent credence y the fact that organically raised ees, which are not sujected to genetically modified crops and chemicals, are not undergoing the Colony Collapse Disorder that the other ees are experiencing.

Or is Gloal Warming the Reason ees are Disappearing?

Scientists are also wondering whether gloal warming could e accelerating the growth rates of pathogens like fungi, viruses and mites, which are known to adversely affect ee colonies. The unusual fluctuations in weather patterns, which are also thought to be caused y gloal warming, could also e affecting ee populations, which are used to more consistent patterns of weather.

Although there are a numer of disappearing ee theories like these, scientists are still searching for the cause. Even though there was no consensus amongst leading ee iologists when they gathered together to discuss the mystery recently, most were of the opinion that it could e a comination of factors that could e the reason. Hence, the next time you spot a usy ee uzzing aout its usiness, stop and marvel at this little creature, thanking it for the marvelous task it accomplishes - for, if the trend of them disappearing continues, you may not see them around any more.

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