Thursday, May 7, 2015

Pollinators and Pesticides

[Here is a short video created by Nina and Sam on the subject. Check it out!]
    I have selected two articles discussing possible causes of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Colony Collapse Disorder was identified in 2005 as all adult honey bees abandoning their stored honey, pollen, and larval. Bees pollinate about 1/3 of crops that make up Americans diets and their honey is used in pharmaceuticals. One of the possible causes of CCD is excessive pesticide and fertilizer use, which can disrupt the bee’s central nervous system. “If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe man would have no more than 4 years to live”- Albert Einstein.
    This 2012 article talks about a study completed to see what happens to honey bees and bumble bees when exposed to small doses of pesticides. The study concluded that CCD also affects bumblebees, not just honeybees. “Pesticide-exposed colonies were on average 8-12 percent smaller than the colonies that had not been exposed, which implies that exposed bees were not gathering as much food."  This 2015 article talks about how pesticides are not just affecting honeybees, but they are affecting wild bees and that bees may have developed an addiction for nicotine-like pesticides. Researchers conducted a study with 16 fields; 8 were treated with pesticides and 8 were not treated with pesticides. The study showed that bees hives stopped growing in the fields that were treated and they produced less queens to go start their own colony.
    Now that we have possibly found what is causing Colony Collapse Disorder we can hopefully rebuild our bee colonies. With the decrease of bees in the environment we would have to find another way to pollinate crops, which will end up being pollinated by hand like in China. The price of food will increase because now we have to pay people to go around and pollinate our food so we can feed the 7 billion, and counting, people on the planet.
--Nita Beanland

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