“Bees pollinate a third of our food supply—they don’t just make honey!—but colonies have been disappearing at alarming rates in many parts of the world due to the accumulated effects of parasitic mites, viral and bacterial diseases, and exposure to pesticides and herbicides.” – Marla Spivak, University of Minnesota, Professor of Entomology
Ignoring Colony Collapse Disorder will put humankind in grave danger, explains Spivak in the below TED Talk, if we lose bees–the pollinators for a third of the fruits and vegetables we consume as food. They’ve been dying off at a significant rate over the last 50 years–after 50 million years of evolution. Twenty years ago, in the United States we were losing approximately 15% of bees per year. As of 2013, that annual rate of loss has increased to 30%.
Spivak attributes this loss to multiple, interacting causes of death, including: pesticides, disease parasites, monocultures, and flowerless landscapes.
She also offers hope. Offered as an imperative, if each of us plant bee-friendly flowers–bee food!–and avoid using pesticides, we can increase the chance for survival of bees–they’re the pollinators of the food we eat to survive!
Have a watch at this illuminating, informative TED Talk by Marla Spivak to learn more about why bees are disappearing and what their loss would mean to humankind.