Lion Tales

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Why Are So Many Bees Dying?

Have you ever been afraid of bees? Or notice them land close to where your sitting, whether on the grass or concrete? Don’t be embarrassed, there are plenty of people who feel the same way. Although, if a bee were dying in front of you, what would you do?

Flowers+Planted+and+pollinated+at+Abraham+Lincoln+High+School.+
Flowers Planted and pollinated at Abraham Lincoln High School.

Flowers Planted and pollinated at Abraham Lincoln High School.

Flowers Planted and pollinated at Abraham Lincoln High School.

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      As this winter season comes along, you might notice more bees falling out of the sky, or landing on common walk areas. Why is that? Well, there are a lot of reason but here are the main ones.

   On reason may be a little bug called the Varroa mite. It’s a parasite that can cause a whole colony to die of an illness called varroosis. They’re like vampires feeding on tiny baby bees that are still developing. Scary, I know. Over a three year period, mites can infect a colony causing the bees to think slower, move slower, and overall slowly dying. If a beekeeper or bee colony itself doesn’t protect their home, it could also lead to CCD. Which leads me to my next  reason.

Flowers planted and pollinated at Lincoln High School.

   CCD meaning Colony Collapse Disorder, is a recently common event that can damage not only the area’s plants, but the local beekeepers, too. It’s when worker bees suddenly leaves the colony and doesn’t come back. They don’t die or fly off one by one, no. I mean suddenly a good portion of the colony leaves. Just think of all the people working at McDonald’s suddenly getting up and leaving, and their reason for it is stress. That’s right, the speculated reason of this CCD phenomenon is that the bees felt under stress and their reaction is to leave the queen.

   Another reason is pesticides. Pesticides are harsh chemicals to deter bug from getting on crops. But those chemicals on a bee’s stomach can cause havoc, and digesting them can even cause a bee to die. Although, not only does it cause death, it does something worse- it damages their ability to reproduce.

             If a bee colony can’t reproduce then there’s not enough flowers getting pollen, plants being spread, and animals getting fed. And if animals aren’t getting fed, then I doubt us humans are, too. Without bee’s to spread pollen, then ecosystems nearby will fail. That’s why their so important.

Kianna Benitez
Flowers planted and pollinated at Lincoln High School.

            So now you know some reasons why the bees are dying, and that brings me back to my question. If a bee were dying in front of you, what would you do? Well, what could you do? Actually, there are a lot of easy ways to help bees in your area.

            The first task is to go to your local plant shop to buy your states native flower. Not only does it make your neighborhood look pretty, but helps feed the bees, too. If you want to help even further, plant a herb garden in your front or backyard. It’ll attract the bees to pollinate and help you herbs grow.

            The second helping tip, is to support your local beekeeper. Buy raw local honey from farmers markets or shops. Every year, beekeepers have bunches of extra honey that they don’t need, even though there’s  a lot of honey flavored foods that we enjoy. What about the honey flavored graham cracker that you love with s’mores? The honey flavored yogurt that you can freeze for a treat? The honey flavored Cheerios?Even the honey itself, that you put in your favorite teas or goes down your throat to sooth a cough? All the time we eat and use honey but we don’t even notice. So, supporting your local beekeeper will help a lot.                                          

Flowers planted and pollinated at Lincoln High School.

            Now, there are a lot of ways to help bees besides these tips. But if you show care for a cause that means something to you, most likely it’ll start to mean something to someone else. So share this story and talk about it to friends, and say, “Why are the bees dying? Well, I’ll tell you…”.

 

(P.S to learn more about this cause go to http://thehoneybeeconservancy.org/ and get involved! 🙂

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