Could an impending bee apocalypse threaten the nation’s food supply?
A bee apocalypse threatens the food supply according to a scientist who studies insect population. Moreover, Sandra Rehan believes most of the wild bees in New England are dying out.
Specifically, 90% of 14 wild bee species in New England were dead, Zero Hedge’s Tyler Durden estimates. To clarify, Durden bases his conclusion on data from the scientific journal Insect and Conservation Diversity.
In particular, leaf-cutter and mining bees that nest in the ground are dying out, Rehan and Minna Mathiasson report. The Associated Press states that Rehan and Mathiasson are examining populations of 114 wild bee species.
New England Bee Apocalypse Threatens Food Supply
“Because these species are major players in crop pollination, it raises concerns about compromising the production of key crops and the food supply in general,” Rehan tells the AP.
In fact, the wild bees “pollinate everything from blueberries to apples,” the AP reports. Consequently, the bee apocalypse threatens many crops along with farmers’ livelihoods. Additionally, the bee die-off threatens wild animals that eat fruits with starvation.
Importantly, Rehan is an assistant professor of biological sciences at the University of New Hampshire. In addition, Rehan is the coauthor of the study with Mathiasson.
What Is Killing The Bees?
Unfortunately, Rehan does not say what is killing the bees. Instead, she and Mathiasson count wild bees and compare today’s numbers to historic records.
Notably, the numbers they have found are far lower than historic counts. So, news accounts of an insect apocalypse are being confirmed.
Moreover, honeybees are dying off too. For example, 60% of Virginia’s honeybees did not survive last winter, The Virginia Gazette reports.
Additionally, Virginia’s bee die-off is getting worse. The Virginia Farm Bureau estimates that one-third of the state’s honeybees have died in the last five years.
Will The Bees Keep Dying?
Mass die-offs of bees are nothing new. In fact, large numbers of bees died in the 1880s, 1920s, and 1960s.
However, the cause of those deaths is still unknown, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports. Meanwhile, beekeepers think viruses, parasites, and overuse of pesticides are killing the bees.
In particular, many beekeepers blame the Varroa Mite which carries the Nosema infection for killing many bees. On a side note, the manufacturer of the antibiotic that treats Nosema went out of business last year.
Are Chemicals Killing The Bees?
Interestingly, Virginia beekeeper Andy Westrich blames the federal government and the chemical industry for bee deaths.
“The federal government and commercial beekeepers have thrown chemical after chemical and every single time the mite ends up being resistant to the chemical,” Westrich says of the Varroa mite.
“A lot of time those chemicals are very harmful to the bees,” Westrich tells the Virginia Gazette. As a result, the USDA’s efforts to help beekeepers could end up killing the bees they seek to protect.
Are Factory Farms Killing The Bees?
In addition, many of the honeybees that die come from factory farms, Westrich notes.
He thinks those bees die because commercial farmers douse them with toxic chemicals. Plus, factory farms move bees around all the time which stresses the insects out. To explain, Westrich thinks honeybees under stress are more likely to die.
Consequently, Westrich no longer buys bees from factory farms. Instead, he raises his own bees and kills mites naturally. Westrich even uses a solar hive that regulates temperatures and kills the mites.
Stockpile Food And Bees Now
In the final analysis, people who want to be self-sufficient may want to get a beehive and raise natural bees now. Furthermore, natural beekeepers could make a lot of money by selling pollination if the wild bees die. Understanding the bees and why they are dying off could be critical to your family’s survival.
You may also enjoy reading an additional Off The Grid News article: Walmart Will Sell Genetically Engineered Salmon Nicknamed “Frankenfish”
What are your thoughts on the bee apocalypse? Is it really a critical issue? Let us know in the comments below.
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