By PARKER KOONS – Big, fuzzy, striped, and full of energy. Bees are important to the ecosystem at large through their act of pollinating flowers and for some are even more important due to their ability to create honey.
The European honey bee is the most common honey bee in the world with it not being limited to just Europe but also being prevalent in the Americas as well.
The sad thing about bees, however, is that they are dying off. Studies have shown that the reasons for this are rooted deeply in industrial farming. Industrial farms use many pesticides to kill insects that would eat crops, but these pesticides also have the negative effect of killing pollinators like bees. Keith Uncapher, a senior, expressed, “I feel like [CCD] its bad because it decreases the amount of pollinators.”
The second reason for the bees decline is diseases being spread by hoverflies, which are the small flies that have stripes like bees. Habitat loss has also contributed to the decline in bee populations. Bee habitats have been in decline due to many factors most notably urbanization.
Senior Tian Schiera stated, “Bees are essential for maintaining global food supply so CCD and the drop in their population is scary! We need to be more aware of agricultural practices and habitat intrusion in order to preserve this species.”
Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) occurs when a majority of a colonies worker population leaves the hive alone with only the queen, young, and a few nurse bees.
This being said, there will still be a risk for bees in the coming years. Mrs Hixson, a biology teacher and bee keeper, had this to say on the topic of bee colonies. “While reported cases of CCD are on the decline, the factors believed to have caused it are not.”
While the loss of bees would be catastrophic to the world, as they are a major pollinator, most can breathe easy in the knowledge that bees are not going extinct as some might claim. Bees are some of the most interesting and adaptable creatures on the planet, some have even hailed them as polyamourous super organisms.
Bees have the ability to communicate through movement and cannot get lost due to their use of the Sun as a guiding instrument.
[Photo by Parker Koons]
Photo Caption: “Mrs. Masterson shows off her bee hive in the Ideal Lab.”
Parker is a senior and has been on the High Arrow staff for four years. His favorite part about journalism is interacting with people he might not normally talk to.