|Type of paper:||Essay|
|Categories:||Biology Ecology Chemistry Agriculture|
Over the past two decades, the population of honeybees has significantly reduced across the United States. According to research, the wild honeybees population was reduced by approximately 23% in the United States between the year 2008 and 2013 (Brodschneider & Crailsheim, 2010). This shows that approximately 39% of the country's cropland that depends on the honey bee for pollination was under great threat since there was an increase in demand for pollination while there was a reduction in the number of honey bees (Brodschneider & Crailsheim, 2010). Approximately 139 counties that are considered to be the key agricultural areas in California, west Texas, Mississippi river valley, and Pacific Northwest regions are the ones highly affected by the decline in honeybees (Frison, Cherfas, & Hodgkin, 2011). The reduced honeybee population is caused by various factors that include; first, use of toxic insecticides. There has been an increase in the use of toxic insecticides that cause various negative effects on the health of the bee both individually and at the colonial level. Secondly, the increased number of parasites. For instance, the tracheal mite that usually affects the bees breathing system, thus causing thousands of honeybee colonies to die. Another parasite affecting the bees is the varroa destructor parasite that feeds on the honeybee's blood and transmits deadly fungi to the bee's body. The aim of this study is to discuss how the decline of honeybees is affecting United States farmers.
Reduced Crop Production
In the recent past, there has been a significant drop in the quantity or amount of crops produced in American farms. This is mainly due to the reduced pollination rate that has been caused by the death of the Honeybees. Pollination is usually essential for fertilization of the seeds to take place. Approximately two-third of the most crucial crops such as coffee, fruits and vegetables require pollinators to fertilize their seeds so that they can produce. In most cases, approximately 80% of these crops usually depend on the bees for pollination (Frison et al., 2011). The honeybees are crucial pollinators since they move in large colonies as compared to other pollinating insects; hence, they are able to pollinate a large number of crops. The bees also tend to visit the flowers multiple times, thus facilities the fertilization process to be completed. However, with the reduced honeybee population across the country has caused the rate of crop pollination to reduce significantly, thus causing a drop of the expected agricultural output. According to research, the continued decrease in the number of honeybees pollinating the land has made the United States crop production rate to drop by approximately 15% (Potts, Biesmeijer, Kremen, Neumann, Schweiger, & Kunin, 2010). In most cases, the death of the honey bees in these farms is attributed to the continued use of insecticides that affects the bee's health.
Extinction of the Various Plant Species.
Some plants in the farm depend on bee pollination so that they can multiply. For instance, the con bearing plants such as pines are highly dependent on pollination so that they can multiply. The honey bee has to carry the pollen that is produced by the male tree to the female tree of the same species for fertilization to take place so that when the seed falls on the ground, it will grow instead of dying. According to research, most species that depend on honeybee's pollination to multiply have reduced by approximately 8% across the country (Potts et al. 2010). Also, the surrounding environment, such as forest that plays a huge role in agriculture, mainly by providing a conducive farming environment, is also facing the threat of extinction. Honeybees tend to pollinate the tree flowers when they are in search of nectar to produce honey, thus helping to increase the forest cover. However, following the decrease in honeybee's population, the forest trees are facing extinction, which means that the conducive farming climate brought about by the extensive forest cover is likely to be affected. Climatic changes in the agricultural areas is likely to cause a significant drop in the country's crop production due to the severe droughts that may be experienced from time to time.
The United States agricultural sector is facing a severe threat due to the continued decrease in the population of honeybees across the country. Honeybees ted to play a significant role in agriculture since thy help to pollinate almost two third of the country's crops. The reduction of the honeybee's population has been brought about by the continued use of toxic insecticides in farms and the increase in diseases and pests such as the trachea mites that usually kill the bees. These chemicals and diseases do not only affect the health of the bees at the individual level nut also at the colonial level. The decrease of honeybees has affected the farmers in various ways that include, reduced crop production mainly due to the reduced rate of pollination. Secondly, the extinction of some plant and crop spices that depend on pollination so that they can multiply.
Brodschneider, R., & Crailsheim, K. (2010). Nutrition and health in honey bees. Apidologie, 41(3), 278-294. Retrieved from https://www.apidologie.org/articles/apido/pdf/2010/03/m09120.pdf
Frison, E. A., Cherfas, J., & Hodgkin, T. (2011). Agricultural biodiversity is essential for a sustainable improvement in food and nutrition security. Sustainability, 3(1), 238-253. https://doi.org/10.3390/su3010238
Potts, S. G., Biesmeijer, J. C., Kremen, C., Neumann, P., Schweiger, O., & Kunin, W. E. (2010). Global pollinator declines trends, impacts and drivers. Trends in ecology & evolution, 25(6), 345-353. Retrieved from https://wedocs.unep.org/bitstream/handle/20.500.11822/17836/Global_Pollinator_Declines_Trends_Impacts_Dr.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
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