The Buzz on Disappearing Bees Grows Louder
There’s no denying the wave of horror that washes over you at the moment you finally connect the dots and realize that there's a crisis looming — and no one is listening. Case in point: the plight of the humble honeybee. It's no secret that colony collapse disorder, viruses and even exceptionally hard winters are clipping the wings of hives worldwide. Nobody's quite sure what's behind such a catastrophic decline; a new USDA bee survey hopes to uncover the cause.
“It’s all very well to be worried about the fuzzy little fellows,” you may be thinking, “but with all this oil spilling into the Gulf, don’t we have bigger wildlife crises to worry about?” Consider this: A huge proportion of the food that humans eat — figures cited range from one-third of the food supply to a whopping 90 percent of commercial crops — is made possible by honeybee pollination. The terrifying corollary: For the third year in a row, more than one-third of U.S. bee colonies have not survived the winter. Lose our bees, lose our next meal.