Friday, 25 October 2013

The latest buzz on bees

The problem of honeybees dying off is not contained to Europe and the UK alone but is also found in the US.
Researchers are still trying to find out what is killing them and there has been a lot of news coverage and political discourse on this issue. One school of thought thinks that chemicals or pesticides are the culprit but in the US they are also looking at a mite called the Varroa destructor that  “burrows into the brood cells that host baby bees” and sucks the hemolymph from them –the fluid that serves as blood in bees.
An  article, A World without Bees (Time August 19th 2013 ), points out that a crop like almonds in California, that is particularly important to the economy, is causing serious concern as the pollination task that honeybees naturally perform is at  risk. Because the pollination of crops like almonds and apples –and many more crops that we take for granted- is so important , if the honeybee continues to dwindle then it could have serious repercussions throughout the agricultural industry; about one mouthful in three in our diet directly or indirectly benefits from honey bee pollination.

Marco Lanzarote

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