Pesticides and dwindling food sources spell the potential demise of honey bees – and the potential extinction level event for us humans as well!

This was the conclusion of scientists who have been warning us of the decreasing honey bee population for many years. A new study had revealed that honey bees could soon go extinct because of the increasing use of chemical pesticides that destroy the honeybees’ natural habitat and sources of food.

A University of California at San Diego study has discovered the honey bees’ problem as an offshoot of the proliferation of chemical pesticides and the lack of adequate food for these industrious insects. Clothianidin and thiamethoxam are two of the pesticides that have been identified as killers of honeybees — threatening their already low and diminishing populations.

These two chemicals as well as their declining source of nutrition are impacting on the lifespan of the honey bees; this thereby causes a decrease in the honeybee population as well as triggers bee deaths by 50%. The chemicals previously mentioned affected bees by reducing their hemolymph (bee blood) sugar levels, causing the insect to lose energy and be lethargic.

Most of the problems affecting the honey bees’ food supply are caused by encroaching land development. Increasing need for residential and commercial land has reduced the amount of land formerly allocated for flowers that are the vital sources of food for bees and their colonies.

Deforestation is also a major problem, mainly for commercial agricultural practices. By addressing the need for land, we also spelled doom for the honeybees who are in dire need of the space for flowers that they feed on.

The Need for Honeybees

Why do we need honeybees? When honeybees collect their food (nectar) from plants, their hairy feet brush the plant’s pollen from the male gland (stamen) to the plant’s female gland (pistil) enabling fertilization of the plant. The result is fertilization occurs within the plant.

The pollen that attaches itself to the honeybees’ legs also gets to be transferred to other flower pistils by the honeybee who would flit from flower to flower, pollinating each. This process ensures that we humans get to have our crops pollinated and therefore, grow to feed us eventually.

Honeybees are a very important component of our ecosystem since 1/3rd of our food supply depends on honey bee pollination. These bees are responsible for pollinating food crops such as avocados, apples, blueberries, almonds, cucumbers, cherries, cranberries, watermelons, sunflowers, almonds, etc.

Even though the big pesticide manufacturing companies know only too well how their products affect the honeybee population, they still keep on manufacturing their deadly chemicals which end up mostly in countries in the Third World, like us, who have less strict guidelines and more unenlightened and lax environmental protection agencies.

If everyone can just understand and realize what honeybees do for us, this world will be a better place to live in. Honeybees do us the favor of pollinating our crops so that they can grow and produce food for our tables.

Helping honey bees help us

We can do our own little thing to help the honeybees. You can start off with planting a wildflower garden in your backyard so that these helpful insects have a source of food. You can also help your local farmer by buying his produce instead of buying the produce from the bigger groceries who might also be using weedkiller than the smaller ones.

Or you can raise your own bees and harvest your own honey.

How about you – do you agree with our theory about honeybees’ declining honey production and how to solve it? Share your opinions in the comments below!

Image by Don Hankins / CC BY 2.0