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No Bees, No Food!

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No Bees, No Food!

William Souza-Ponce, Journalist, Editing Board Member

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It probably wouldn’t shock you to hear that honeybees make honey. But it might shock you to know that over the past 12 years, there has been a global-threatening decline in honeybee populations. 

These bees, specifically, the Apis Mellifera, are some of the world’s main pollinators. The threat of their extinction (or huge reduction in numbers) poses a dramatic threat to worldwide food supplies. Strangely, these are the only bees that this is happening to. When they die, it’s called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). CCD is a major environmental problem, like Global Warming. 

If honeybees go extinct, then most plants will die, too. Sure, there are other pollinators, like bats and butterflies, to name a couple. But honeybees pollinate most of it. If they go extinct, then things will change dramatically. Your breakfast of pancakes, oatmeal, muffins, cereal and orange juice will be reduced to … well, a lot less than that. Bees pollinate a third of the world’s food supply. According to a BBC report, these bees are critical pollinators, accounting for 70 percent of the crop species that feed 90 percent of the world. 

The bees are dying from multiple causes. The main one is a tiny pink insect – the Varroa Mite. These villains crawl all over the bees, biting them, and making them sick. They can invade entire hives, and are fatal to bees. They originally came aboard ships from Europe and spread throughout the world. 

 

Varroa mite on a bee’s head, photo from Pixbay 

Another cause is pesticides. They kill bees when they try to pollinate plants. But if people stop using pesticides, then they won’t kill more bees.  

Honeybees are also dying because plants are blooming too fast. Honeybees know when plants flower normally. But, with Global Warming, plants bloom faster and earlier. The bees don’t know that. It’s like if you go to school, every day at the same time. But one day, the school day starts early, when you’re still in bed. When you wake up, you scramble to get ready for school, but of course, in your hurry, you forget to bring some things. The bees don’t just get a bad grade or anything. The bees have less time to collect food. And so, of course, they don’t collect enough.  

The most mysterious thing is that most bees are just disappearing. Poof. Gone. No one knows where they’re going. They go out to collect pollen, and they don’t come back. It started in 2006. They disappeared, almost all at the same time. Some dead bees were found around the hive, but the only ones alive and present were the queens, the nurses, and the younger ones. There was lots of honey and pollen in the hive, but without the workers, the other bees died. 

If you don’t want the bees to die, then stop using pesticides. Grow bee-friendly gardens, don’t pollute, and if you see a bee with pink blotches on it, then you know the Varroa Mites are one bee closer to exterminating the Apis Mellifera. 

 

 

(SIDEBAR:) 

Here are just some things we would lose if bees go extinct: 

  • Apples 
  • Mangos 
  • Rambutan 
  • Kiwi Fruit 
  • Plums 
  • Peaches 
  • Nectarines 
  • Guava 
  • Rose Hips 
  • Pomegranites 
  • Pears 
  • Black and Red Currants 
  • Alfalfa 
  • Okra 
  • Strawberries 
  • Onions 
  • Cashews 
  • Cactus 
  • Prickly Pear 
  • Apricots 
  • Allspice 
  • Avocados 
  • Passion Fruit 
  • Lima Beans 
  • Kidney Beans 
  • Adzuki Beans 
  • Green Beans 
  • Orchid Plants 
  • Custard Apples 
  • Cherries 
  • Celery 
  • Coffee 
  • Walnut 
  • Cotton 
  • Lychee 
  • Flax 
  • Acerola – used in Vitamin C supplements 
  • Macadamia Nuts 
  • Sunflower Oil 
  • Goa beans 
  • Lemons 
  • Buckwheat 
  • Figs 
  • Fennel 
  • Limes 
  • Quince 
  • Carrots 
  • Persimmons 
  • Palm Oil 
  • Loquat 
  • Durian 
  • Cucumber 
  • Hazelnut 
  • Cantaloupe 
  • Tangelos 
  • Coriander 
  • Caraway 
  • Chestnut 
  • Watermelon 
  • Star Apples 
  • Coconut 
  • Tangerines 
  • Boysenberries 
  • Starfruit 
  • Brazil Nuts 
  • Beets 
  • Mustard Seed 
  • Rapeseed 
  • Broccoli 
  • Cauliflower 
  • Cabbage 
  • Brussels Sprouts 
  • Bok Choy (Chinese Cabbage) 
  • Turnips 
  • Congo Beans 
  • Sword beans 
  • Chili peppers, red peppers, bell peppers, green peppers 
  • Papaya 
  • Safflower 
  • Sesame 
  • Eggplant 
  • Raspberries 
  • Elderberries 
  • Blackberries 
  • Clover 
  • Tamarind 
  • Cocoa 
  • Black Eyed Peas 
  • Vanilla 
  • Cranberries 
  • Tomatoes 
  • Grapes 

 

Sources: 

 

Encyclopedia Britannica 

Google 

EPA 

National Pesticide Information Center 

Nature society 

BBC 

About the Writer
William Souza-Ponce, Journalist

I'm a 6th grade journalist here at the Paw Press, and I'm very excited to be writing for the whole school this year. This is my 7th year at Blaine, and...

1 Comment

One Response to “No Bees, No Food!”

  1. Alden McGrath on December 6th, 2018 3:01 pm

    That’s a lot of food! Nice article by the way.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




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