Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Zachary Cieslak
Honey Bee Commentary

The food we eat, the clothes we wear, and the variety of plants surrounding us all have to be pollinated by someone. But what would happen if that someone was suddenly extinct? Honeybees in the United States are disappearing from their hives at a scary rate. Nearly 1 million hives are disappearing each year. According to the USDA, “This is the biggest general threat to our food supply.” For years, the sharp decline in bees has been a mystery. But within the last year, scientists have unmasked the culprits.

Pesticides and genetically modified foods that help to increase the life of the plants are actually harming the honeybees. Chemicals absorbed by plants are secreted in the nectar that honeybees use to make honey. The unnatural nectar causes a destruction of the nervous system within the bees causing disorientation and an inability to find their hive. Big business pushes the findings under the rug to keep costs of food low while the beekeepers feel the burn. This is another instance of humans accidentally causing a major shift in the biosphere. While some may see this as a small issue, honeybees are the foundation of our agricultural economy. Without the honeybees, we will inevitably see a food shortage in the United States. So we can sit back and watch the downfall of honeybees and our economy or put an end to our genetically modified plants and harmful pesticides.

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