Why Are Honey Bees Disappearing?

RECEIVED Tue., April 24, 2007

Dear Editor,
    Scientists say that honey bees are like the canary in a coal mine. I hope this is not true. But if so, the recent worldwide alarm being sent out by the "mysterious" disappearance of honey bees across America, Europe, and beyond certainly sends a loud message. Some have said that if honey bees disappear completely, man will follow in as little as four years. What's upsetting even more is that it's not just honey bees that are disappearing. Bumble bees, wasps, and other vital insects are declining rapidly as well. Disappearing means they've died. It's called colony collapse disorder. There have been a couple of historical incidences of bees disappearing from CCD but never in the magnitude we are seeing right now.
    I'm no scientist, but I suspect it's related to disruption of the bee's immune system that in turn affects the several pheromones they rely on for life. Chemicals, stress, and poor food quality takes its toll – much like it does on the human race. Bees have many special pheromones that help them with everything from reproducing to finding their way home. Chemicals definitely seem to disrupt pheromones. Much like they disrupt our own reproductive systems causing "feminine" characteristics on young boys, causing fish and frogs to lose their sex organs or to have multiple sex organs, causing breast cancer and other glandular cancers to proliferate. It's not a pretty picture of the future.
    What would happen if the pollinators were suddenly gone? It's estimated that this year we could see a one-third reduction in our food supply due to the honey-bee problem. And there's no planned solution in place. What happens if it is worse next year?
Kelly Hayes
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