10 pages
Word Count
3113 words
Course Code

The Disappearance of Bees

February 10, 2018
Harvey, Julia
Ehrlich, Tuesday 6:30pm
April 18, 2017
The Disappearance of Bees
Sitting down to dinner, the average person probably doesn’t realize the important role
bees played in the preparation of that meal. “Here’s something that might surprise you: One out
of every three mouthfuls of food in the American diet is, in some way, a product of honeybee
pollination.” (Zissu) “Pollinators are the lifeblood of ecosystems everywhere. They help plants
reproduce, increase biodiversity, facilitate the dispersal of species into new regions, maintain
genetic diversity within plant populations, increase fruit yields, and support flora and fauna at
every level of the food chain.” (Rodriguez) The role that bees play and the effect that they have
on our environment can not be overstated.
Now, the issue has become that these great eco-players are in danger and have been dying
at an alarming rate. “Colony Collapse Disorder is the phenomenon that occurs when the majority
of worker bees in a colony disappear, leaving behind a queen, food, nurse bees and infant bees.
Without the mature worker bees to bring nectar and pollen back to the hive, it collapses.”
(Braun) This was first observed in the winter of 2006, when beekeepers began to report
unusually high losses in their hives, from 30-90%. The symptoms demonstrated were
inconsistent with any prior known causes of honeybee death: “loss of a colony’s worker bee
population with very few dead bees found near the colony” and “the queen and young remained,
and the colonies had relatively abundant honey and pollen reserves.” (EPA) “The bees plight is
widespread: Serious declines have been reported in both managed honeybee colonies and wild
populations.” (Zissu) Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) has also been reported all over the world
in Egypt, China, Europe, USA, Japan and the Middle East. (Rodriguez)
Current bee losses are not sustainable. Scientists, as well as regulators, “have grown
increasingly concerned about the impact of colony collapse disorder on the world’s food supply,
given the majority of the planet’s 100 most important food crops depend on insect pollination.
(Grossman) 50 international researchers analyzed data from 41 crop systems around the world,
including fruits, coffee, seeds and nuts. The study demonstrates that production of many fruit and
seed crops that make diets interesting – such as tomatoes, blueberries, cherries, strawberries,
coffee, and watermelon – is limited because their flowers are not adequately pollinated.
The decline in bee populations was especially noticeable when it came to the pollination

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