Care2 Earth Month: Back to Basics
This year, Care2 decided to expand Earth Day into Earth Month, since there is so much to explore when it comes to the environment. Every day in April, we’ll have a post about some of the most important topics for the environment, exploring and explaining the basics. It’s a great tool to help you get started with helping the environment — or help explain it to others. See the whole series here.
Where have all the bees gone?
What is causing colony collapse disorder, when hives suddenly lose most of their worker bee population, with very few dead bees found nearby and only the queen and brood remaining?
Bees are worth about 1.8 billion pounds (about $2.9 billion) a year in the U.K., according to new research about the cost of hand-pollinating the many crops that bees do so for free. As Damian Carrington writes in the Guardian, hand-pollination is already a necessity in places like China’s pear orchards while in the U.S. bees are “routinely trucked around… to compensate for the loss of their wild cousins.” In the U.K., Carrington describes a virtual “bee-calypse”: “Half the UK’s honey bees kept in managed hives have gone, wild honey bees are close to extinction and solitary bees are declining in more than half the place they have been studied.”
Carrington cites the loss of meadows full of flowers and parasites and diseases. But pesticides are routinely cited as a factor and three recent scientific studies offer compelling evidence linking pesticides to global declines in bee populations.
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Photo by expom2uk
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