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The cases of honeybee decline are becoming widespread in our days. Then scientist started to call the honeybee decline, the Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). It means that bees suddenly disappeared from their hives leaving eggs, the queen bees, and immature worker bees behind Honeybee Decline Warrants Concern, but not Panic). There are many reasons for it, including wide use of genetically modified (GM) crops, insecticides, and other chemicals (Honeybee Decline Warrants Concern, but not Panic). All them make harm to honeybee colonies.
Most scientists state that honeybee decline is an important environmental issue. They say that it can be negative to nature, humans and economy. However, other groups of researchers have an opposing position. They think that honeybee decline is quite positive, especially in the USA. “…the reduction of honeybee populations would be positive because they crowd out native bee species” (Honeybee Ecology). Honeybees are not native species to North America. That they were imported there from Europe in 1638 (Honeybee Ecology).
Nevertheless, honeybees are useful for people and nature. That is why their decline may be harmful. There are several main arguments for it. First, bees are the most important pollinators. “More than 100 agricultural crops in the United States are pollinated by bees” (Information Sheet 10).
Of course, not all agricultural crops need pollination. In addition, there are many wild pollinator insects. However, bees are very important in modern agriculture. In most countries, agriculture is a very important industry with a high level of mechanization. Wild pollinators may not be sufficient for pollination, because wild insects usually live in small colonies or singly. In addition, honeybee colonies are kept and managed by people. “Their key importance comes from the fact that we know how to manage them, and how to deliver them in great number when a crop needs pollinating. For the most pollination-dependent crops this is critical” (Honeybee Decline Warrants Concern, but not Panic).
The second main argument is that without pollination would suffer not only agriculture, but also economy as a whole. Pollination is a long process, and without bees, it is very hard and requires much labor, that would be negative for economy. Without proper pollination, agricultural crops would be less in volume and more expensive. Such problem exists already in China, where bees were killed due to use of pesticides. Chinese farmers pollinate plants themselves. China can, with its huge labor resources, afford to implement manual labor forces for pollination “but short of the prospect of actual starvation, it is wholly unrealistic to imagine this happening in, say, California, where bees still pollinate orange, apple, pear and plum trees” (Boycott).
The last important argument of protecting bees from decline refers to the use of bees and bee products in medicine. “The use of all honeybee products, from all honeybee species, for therapeutic purposes is well established” (Medicinal Uses of Bee Products). Bee products are used to treat burns, injures, deep wounds, sore throats, inflammations, conjunctivitis, different infections, and other diseases. For example, honey products have strong antibiotic, antiviral, anthelmintic, antifungal and painkilling activity (Medicinal Uses of Bee Products). Therefore, people may lose good sources of treatment if bees disappear.
In conclusion, it is necessary to mention that honeybee decline is an important environmental issue. It is sometimes considered positive for nature, especially in the areas where honeybees crowd out native bee species. However, bee decline has more negative consequences than positive ones. They are connected to agriculture, economic issues, and use of bee products in medicine. Without bees, the life of people would change a lot. The price of agricultural products may raise, the volume of crops may decline, and good kinds of treatment may be lost.