Honeybees have thrived for 50 million years, each colony 40 to 50,000 individuals coordinated in amazing harmony. So why, seven years ago, did colonies start dying en masse? Marla Spivak reveals four reasons which are interacting with tragic consequences. This is not simply a problem because bees pollinate a third of the world’s crops. Could this incredible species be holding up a mirror for us?
Bees are dying from multiple and interacting causes, especially in the US. Russia is less affected, since our "progress" in growing larger and larger crop monocultures is not so advanced and also because we use less insecticides and herbicides. Below is a short list of main bee death causes (watch the video anyway, it is good!):
- Lack of diverse flowering plants, required for bees survival
- Growing larger and larger crop monocultures (they look like "food deserts" for bees)
- Using herbicides to kill off the weeds
- Using pesticides to mitigate crop pests
- New class of insecticides - neonicotinoids
- Bees parasites, especially Varroa mite that compromises the bee's immune system and circulates viruses
- Massive bee death phenomenon
- 80-90% of bee population in the US has died out. Fake honey coming in from China.