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"Declining honeybee population could spell trouble for some crops," blared a headline on Fox News … Back in 1968, there were 4.5 million honey producing bee colonies and that declined to just 2.8 million in 2019 (no data was recorded in the period from 1980 to 1985). So, the next time you see someone ready to squish a bee passerby, see if you can change their mind, and educate them on the declining bee population and the importance of that single bee. In recent years, beekeepers have reported colony losses, especially in Western EU countries such as France, Belgium, Germany, the UK, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands. In England the bee population fell from 182,000 colonies in 1965 to 179,000 in 1985, to 83,000 today. Oilseeds are also pollinated by bees, and oilseeds make up a lot of the world’s supply of fat. Bumblebees' decline points to mass extinction – study This article is more than 10 months old Populations disappearing in areas where temperatures are getting hotter, scientists say Over the past few years, beekeepers have attributed a lot of the bee population decline to queen bees with short lifespans. So, as you can see, bees are valuable, and even though the situation may seem dire, there are things you can do to help halt the decline and get things buzzing in the right direction. Fewer pollinators mean many plant species could decline or even disappear along with the organisms that directly or indirectly depend on them. The only condition is to get enough good food. As the name indicates, insecticides are chemicals meant to kill insects. It is clear that bees in the United States are still struggling. A world without honey bees isn’t one that Dr Veenstra wants to contemplate. 20 May 2019, Rome - The global decline in bee populations poses a serious threat to a wide variety of plants critical to human well-being and livelihoods, and countries should do more to safeguard our key allies in the fight against hunger and malnutrition, FAO stressed today as it marked UN World Bee Day.. With bee populations declining, farmers in some parts of the world, such as China, have begun to pollinate their orchards by hand. Share with us your thoughts on the matter in the comment section below. In smaller crops, bees have enough time to forage for pollens in varied fields, which keeps them healthy. At the same time, commercial agriculture is highly depending on honeybees. Europe also counts about 2,000 wild species. This mix of viral infection and a compromised immune system can lead up to a lethal end. | Powered by WordPress, Mankind will not survive the honeybees’ disappearance for more than five years – A. Einstein. An estimate of bumble bee population and distribution shows that half of the species studied have seen a more than 50 percent decline. In 2017, the rusty-patched bumble bee was added to the U.S. But, here in Australia, there is no ban nor even an investigation. The still-mysterious phenomenon was dubbed Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), and scientists didn’t know what to make of the bees that simply abandoned the hive. Declining Bee Populations. Bee decline, pollination and food production. Jacques Bourbeau reports. Pollinators also contribute directly to medicines, biofuels, fibres and construction materials. In spite of the terms like “bee-gate” and “bee-pocalypse” used by the media, the bee population decline is not just there yet. A bee-pocalypse would have dire effects. Greenandgrowing.org is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Summary There are widespread concerns that falling honey bee numbers will lead to food shortages. USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service Information. In 2017, the rusty-patched bumble bee was added to the U.S. Grains are primarily pollinated by the wind, but fruits, nuts and vegetables are pollinated by bees. Its aim is to improve knowledge about the decline, tackle the causes and raise awareness of the issue. In spite of the terms like “bee-gate” and “bee-pocalypse” used by the media, the bee population decline is not just there yet. Colony collapse disorder (CCD) is an abnormal phenomenon that occurs when the majority of worker bees in a honey bee colony disappear, leaving behind a queen, plenty of food, and a few nurse bees to care for the remaining immature bees. In 2013, the European Union banned the use of neonics (a type of pesticides). But this winter, many U.S. beekeepers experienced losses of 40 to 50 percent or more, just as commercial bee operations prepared to transport their hives for the country’s largest pollinator event: the fertilizing of California’s almond trees. The numbers were slightly lower during the 2014 winter, when beekeepers lost only 23 percent. In the case of bee population decline, statistics reveal that in 2019 colony collapse disorder symptoms were down 26% for operations covering at least five colonies. But, since then they have been increasing, and have been steady overall throughout history. Today we’ll talk about some of the hot topics surrounding the bee population decline and see which claims are myths and which are facts. Currently, there is no scientific data giving the full picture, but there is evidence of a considerable decline in pollinators, due primarily to human activities. Fish and Wildlife Service endangered species list, after a population decline of 87% in recent years. The ban will remain in place until scientists further determine whether or not this type of systemic pesticides is the reason for the bee population decline. Since 2006, approximately 10 million beehives ($2 billion in estimated value) have been lost. Though the rate of bee depopulation is growing each year, 42% more last year than the year before, even at the current annual rate the estimated monetary loss is a colossal 30 billion dollars a year. While the decline in the world’s bees isn’t a secret, not everyone understands the impact a continued decline bears upon the planet. The population trends for 1,535 species (79%) remains unknown. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. In the U.S., the production of crops that depend on pollinators generates more than $50 billion a year. 970 Natural Area Dr., P.O. Beekeepers are used to 5 or 10 percent of the bees dying every year, but for the past decade, losses skyrocketed to 30 percent. Jacques Bourbeau reports. The queen mates just once in her life. Plus, seeing that cotton is an oilseed, trouble for bees spells trouble for the cotton trade. To tackle the issue and complement efforts at EU and national levels, the European Commission presented in 2018 the EU Pollinators Initiative, the first comprehensive initiative at EU level, focusing on wild pollinating insects. more targeted measures to protect wild pollinators. As of April, an estimated 2.89 million bee colonies existed across the U.S., an increase of 3 percent compared to April 2016. In European countries that have good historical records for wild bees, comparing data from these records to more recent data has shown clear evidence of decline in bee species richness (number of species), frequency (abundance of species), and … Few plants self-pollinate: the vast majority depend on animals, wind or water for reproduction. It’s unclear why. According to the USDA, the U.S. honeybee population hit a 22-year high in 2016 before dipping slightly last year. Pesticides and malnutrition caused by changing land use patterns are also likely taking a toll, especially among commercial beekeepers Smart News Keeping you current New Map Highlights Bee Population Declines Across the U.S. As wild bee populations continue to fall, new research identifies counties that will be hit the hardest USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service Information. beeinformed.org describes a 44% decline in 2015/16 as: … many factors are contributing to colony losses. At first, no one knew why, but there are some theories about might contribute to the bee population decline. Fragmentary observations, however, have suggested population declines in several North American species. Learn more about bee population decline and what you can do to help combat it. Albert Einstein once remarked, “Mankind will not survive the honeybees’ disappearance for more than five years.”. With CCD, the swarm simply vanishes, either in fall or winter. Read more about the EU's animal welfare laws. Fragmentary observations, however, have suggested population declines in several North American species. No matter what the EU or the U.S. decide, the issue with bee population decline is real and we should be more interested in finding solutions. Lately, beekeepers have been attributing more of their losses to problems with queen bees. • Looking at the population trends of European bee species, 7.7% (150 species) of the species have declining populations, 12.6% (244 species) are more or less stable and 0.7% (13 species) are increasing. The pollinator population has taken a hit in recent years. As we said before, the reasons for the disappearance of bees is multifold. MEPs call on the Commission to beef up its Pollinators Initiative and to come up with new measures to protect bees and other pollinators. An estimate of bumble bee population and distribution shows that half of the species studied have seen a more than 50 percent decline. In the current chemical-intensive agriculture system, scientists are increasingly convinced that some insecticides are cause for negative effects on the health of pollinators. The honey bee decline. This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. In addition intensive agriculture leads to homogenous landscapes and the disappearance of diverse flora, reducing food and nesting resources. I'm one of the main writers on the site; mostly dealing with environmental news and ways to live green. Scientists are worried about the possibility of mass extinctions of marine animals due to pollution, loss of habitat, and rising water temperatures. Smart News Keeping you current New Map Highlights Bee Population Declines Across the U.S. As wild bee populations continue to fall, new research identifies counties that will be hit the hardest However, the current situation is enough of a red flag, forcing scientists and industries to consider the consequences of a dying bee population. Since 2006, approximately 10 million beehives ($2 billion in estimated value) have been lost. The decline in bee species has been documented worldwide, although some countries have stronger historical records for wild bee species. Another factor is the changing climate with rising temperatures and extreme weather events. Causes Of US Honey Bee Population Loss & Decline. Seventy out of the top 100 human food crops  which supply about 90 percent of the worlds nutrition  are pollinated by bees. The narrative that honeybees – which aren't actually native to North America, Europe or Australia – face mortal danger and will take us down with them has, for years, been advanced by environmental groups and repeated in the media. ‘We could struggle to sustain the global human population,’ she says. Ahead of the day on August 18, Jo Lamiri finds the new buzz around bees A single bee colony can pollinate 300 million flowers each day. Pollination by insects or other animals also enables more variety and better quality of fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Box 110620, Gainesville, FL 32611-0620 USA. The only problem is that it isn’t true. Bee decline has many causes, including decreasing crop diversity, poor beekeeping practices and loss of habitat. The decline does not have one single cause, but threats include land-use changes for agriculture or urbanisation, which result in the loss and degradation of natural habitats. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, honeybees contribute with $15 billion annually in value to American crops. Both honey bee and bumble bee populations have dramatically declined in recent decades. Direct access to language menu (press "Enter"), Direct access to search menu (press "Enter"), What’s behind the decline in bees and other pollinators? Native bee species such as bumble bees are suffering as well. Some mite-transmitted viruses, such as deformed wing virus, acute paralysis virus, slow paralysis virus and cloudy wing virus, weaken honeybee colonies by reducing the longevity of adult honeybees. 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