M. Michigan

Mortality: a Dark Time for Bees

Bee populations are dying out which is creating a problem for the state of our ecosystem and economy.

Bee Populations are Decreasing.

Dear future president,

Pollination is a crucial process to the growing of the world’s food sources. Bees are responsible for an estimated 50 to 80% of today’s crops as shown by various studies conducted by beekeeper. However, there’s a major problem arising- bees are dying out, and at an alarming rate. About 44% of bee colonies have been lost in the last year according to the Preliminary Colony Loss results of Bee Informed Partnership. Without bees our ecosystem and food sources will be in danger.

Bees are responsible for a large part of our ecosystem; they are essential for plant and crop growth, both of which contribute a large amount into our food sources. Without plant growth, livestock would not be adequately fed, and crops such as: various fruits, nuts, vegetables, and oils would no longer be available for our use and consumption. Nutritional foods would be difficult to find as the healthy food pollinated by bees is no longer an availability. This crop shortage would lead to a decline in the economy as food prices would have to increase due to less variety and higher demand of what food is left on the market.

The decrease in the bee population, unless stopped, will lead to detrimental effects on the state of our ecosystems and our economy. One cause of the decrease in bee colonies is determined to be the use of pesticides verified by a study published in the American Chemical Society’s Environmental Science & Technology journal. Using less pesticides that are proven to be harmful could lead to a decrease in death rate. Additionally climate change is putting yet another stressor on the current state of bee’s wellbeing. Not only is climate change resulting in earlier bloom rates for plants- causing the bees to be out of sync with when they should pollinate, but moreover the rise of Carbon Dioxide levels is evidently impacting the bee population in a negative way. Increased CO2 emissions are causing a change in the phylogeny of plants that limit the amount of nutrition bees are able to acquire, according to a study conducted by a plant physiologist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Research Service in Maryland. This lack of protein can cause health problems for the bees and make them more subjectable to disease, thus increasing their risk of death. In order to make an attempt at fixing this problem more effort could go into helping climate change.

Increased efforts to help the bee population is crucial for the well-being of our earth. More attention should be called on to the state of the bees. This includes a decrease in the use of harmful pesticides and efforts going into how to fix climate change. If no actions are taken then we will inevitably be led into a decline in the state of our economy and ecosystem.

-Marissa