Why are bees disappearing? 3 possible explanations from scientists

bees
Credit: iStock

We know that bees play an essential role in nature as they are the main insect pollinators on the planet.  This means that they play an active role in plant reproduction. Without bees, many plants would disappear in particular the fruit and vegetables that we eat.  If this was to happen there would be an unprecedented food crisis worldwide!  However we can’t seem to stem their disappearance.  However what is causing the mass extinction of bees? 

Scientists still don’t know exactly why bees are disappearing.  However the majority of scientists agree that the combination of the three factors listed below are most likely responsible.

1. Pesticides

The massive changes in the agricultural practices over the last fifty years  is believed to one of the factors that is causing the disappearance of bees.  This factor is by no means insignificant.

Intensive farming and urbanisation play a part in destroying the bees’ natural habitat and depriving them of food (being flowers).  However the extensive use of chemical products to grow food is also responsible.  Pesticides whether they are insecticides, herbicides or fongicdes are negatively affecting bee populations.  We haven’t even mentioned the impact of GM crops which also have a lot to answer for…

2.  Global warming

Sometimes in a bees hive, all the bees fall ill and die.  Biologists struggle to explain this type of phenomenon. However it is believed that perhaps global warming is encouraging the development of pathogens such as viruses, mites and fungi all of which are deemed to have a devastating on bee colonies.

insecte abeille
Credits : iStock
At the same time, unusual changes in temperatures as a result of global warming could also wreak havoc on bees as they are not used to such weather conditions.

3. Losing sight of landmarks

It is also believed that bees are easily losing sight of landmarks as a result of insecticides which affect their nervous system.  This is also believed to be a possible explanation for their rapid disappearance. It is not uncommon that bees leave in search of food but never make it back to their beehive. The consequences are drastic as in the meantime, the bees waiting for their return die of hunger…

The other explanation for bees losing their way is increasing radiation that is emitted by mobile phones in particular.

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