11:19 pm agriculture
It appears that bee populations are dwindling and people are starting to become concerned at the scale of the bee catastrophe.
Many scientists and bee keepers have many theories of what might be causing the decline. These theories range from weather and climate change to pesticide use and over-use to disease, viruses and parasites. None of these theories have been proved conclusively. Perhaps the collapse in bee populations is due to a combination of the above factors.
Regardless of the causes of the collapse, the impact is huge as bees are relied on extensively for pollination of crops such as almonds, strawberries, blueberries and apples. There are estimates that pollination produces $40 billion worth of goods in the US. A reduction in the effectiveness could have a large impact in the amount and quality of food produced and made available to consumers. In some worst case scenarios, the entire food chain could be severely impacted as crops are no longer
I certainly hope that scientists can quickly determine what is causing this bee population collapse so that we can try to slow the losses and protect these valuable and often underrated insects.