Honey Bee Population Decline
Is Bee Theft Contributing to Decline in Honey Bee Population?
The honey bee population is on the decline, and maybe not just from mites, disease and environmental toxins. The grocery chain store Giant is missing 60,000 bees from its headquarters in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The bees were allegedly stolen between January 28 and January 30.
Bees pollinate a large number of our favorite fruits and nuts. (Image: Julia Volk via Pexels)
It has been reported that three beehives were taken from Giant, which also owns Martin’s chain. The firm established a pollinator-friendly solar field two years ago to contribute to sustainable energy and help the diminishing bee population.
“We are extremely disappointed that this happened and are continuing to cooperate with the Middlesex Township Police Department,” Jessica Groves, community impact manager at Giant said.
“Bees are an essential part of our food supply chain and having these beehives was one way we were helping to address the declining bee population here in our hometown community, the hives are worth $2,000”
Several sources, including PennLive, claimed that beekeepers in Pennsylvania saw a loss of 41 percent of their hive populations in 2021, which is somewhat less than the national average loss for beekeepers, which is about 45 percent.
According to Food and Wine magazine, this incident follows the theft of 92 hives from a farm in Yuba City, California in January 2020. Approximately one-third of beekeeper Mike Potts’ operation, owner of Pottsy’s Pollination, in Oregon, was stolen. His beehives fertilize almond trees in Sutter County. Honeybees drive the almond industry in California.
Current honey bee populations
The agriculture business and environmentalists are deeply concerned about the nationwide decline in bee numbers. Researchers from the Ohio State University Department of Entomology estimate pollinators contribute $500 billion annually to global food production. From this group of pollinator species, the bee is one of the most essential in terms of our food security and the health of our natural environments.
Bee numbers have been declining for several years as a result of a range of factors such as deadly mites, habitat destruction, and climate change.
Pollination is required by more than 1,000 different plants, including those farmed for food, spices, beverages, medicines, and fibers. Without the assistance of bees, the world would be deprived of such delectable delicacies as chocolate, coffee, peaches, almonds, tomatoes, blueberries, strawberries, apples, pumpkins, melons, vanilla, and a plethora of other fruits, nuts, and vegetables.
According to recent research, flowers are competitive amongst each other. They can detect the vibrations of bees’ wings and react by momentarily sweetening their nectar to attract pollinating insects. To preserve their genetic heritage, flowers have evolved the ability to filter out extraneous ‘noise,’ such as wind and other environmental factors. Flowers may be “listening” for the bees that they rely on for pollination.
Pollinator decline is a significant and challenging issue. However, it is not insurmountable. Because a substantial portion of the loss in bee populations is being caused by human actions, pesticide usage, urbanization, and other factors, humans can reverse the trend.
The following are three simple and practical methods in which you may contribute to the health of bee populations in your region.
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