Why are bees disappearing

Wild bees, as well as those kept for honey production and pollination of crops, become more and more endangered. The US sees the largest honeybee loss, but this also happens in Europe, Canada, and New Zealand. Sudden loss of up to 30% of colonies attributed to a syndrome called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) continues to strike farmers. The causes of the syndrome are not 100% certain; however, experts attribute it to a few factors.

Bees bred in captivity are fed with unnatural diets for faster growth and more intense production. To protect the colonies, many breeders give bees antibiotics, which weaken their immune system and lead to antibiotic-resistant bacteria to develop and affect the colonies. Air pollution and the changing climate affect both captivated and wild bees, as well as pesticide use.

One class of pesticides, neonicotinoids, was found to be particularly harmful to bees and was banned at the end of 2018 in the European Union for this reason. But even though Europe faces a twice smaller decline in bee colonies as compared to the US, it is still significant. Therefore, we need to take more measures to protect the bees – which comes back to reduced CO2 and other pollutants emissions. We also need to have more organic farms which do not use pesticides. This is better for bees, soils, ecosystems, and us.

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