Why Are Bees Going Extinct

by Lori Bogedin
Bees going extinct

I have never been a fan of “Did You Know?” articles. It’s usually this kind of title or headline that makes me flip to the next story. So please forgive me as I reciprocate. For this subject, I will claim poetic license with an underlying sense of urgency. As if the world depended on it, I will ask the following question. Did you know wild and domestic honey bees perform close to 80 percent of global pollination? So, why are bees going extinct?

Bees Going Extinct
A bee collects pollen from flower, close-up

That may not alarm the layperson. In fact, most would be understandingly oblivious to the plight of the honey bee. Ironically, history symbolically equates the insect to immortality and resurrection. But this particular member of the genus Apis, distinguished by the production of honey, is in severe decline. 

Why Bees Going Extinct Should Concern Everyone

More specifically, studies show ninety percent of the feral population in the United States of bees going extinct. Colonies in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands are following the same trend, citing a catastrophic 80 percent rate of bees going extinct. Where that leaves us in the food chain is unfounded. It is well worth mentioning honey bees pollinate fruits, nuts, and vegetables. These foods make up 90 percent of world nutrition.

Homemade honey on the street market in Romanian mountains

It’s difficult to fathom this tiny creature is responsible for maintaining the majority of our planet’s food supply. Scientific reasons for their demise are far and in between. Experts partly attribute biotic factors and disease. However, other root sources for the problem can be described as mostly human-made. Environmental change-related stresses, malnutrition, pesticides, and disruption in migratory beekeeping top the list.

Colony Collapse Disorder

The “Colony Collapse Disorder” report this decade has seen beekeepers losing 25 percent of their hives each winter. That’s up from five to 10 percent of bee’s going extinct from 30 years ago. 

Adding insult to injury, agricultural honey bees are abandoning their hives, albeit a few young workers. This behavior is unheard of, since colonies would traditionally do anything to protect their queen. Going deeper, what does this paradigm shift have in store for the humans? We are left with sobering question of why bees are going extinct

The apiarist with full equipment checking the hives on the blossoming rapeseed field. Selecive focus, lens flare, copy space

Why can’t we recognize the importance of honey bees to our ecosystem? More somberly, any adverse environmental change that harms bees will eventually affect, you guessed it, US.

How to Help Bee’s from Going Extinct

Now let’s learn more about how to help bees! Here are some ways you can help the world stay in a BEE-beautiful place to live, love, and learn:

  • Stop using insecticides.
  • Plant bee-friendly plants.
  • Create natural habitat gardens.
  • Find out more about bees.
  • Support your local beekeeper.
  • Become a beekeeper.
  • Lobby your local legislator.
  • Sign petitions to ban pesticides.
  • Encourage your local authorities to do more to help bees.

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