Mayan’s predicted that bee populations would cease to exist as a first phase of the 2012 apocalyptic disasters to come. While the allocations may seem far-fetched for some, the peril of the honeybee Colony Collapse Disorder is still a very realistic threat. Colony Collapse Disorder could result in loses of up to 90 percent in some bee hives as genetic selection for the use of honeybees in mass farming has propelled the species to a dependent relationship on more than 30% of the world’s food production. Honeybees are marketed, farmed, sold and shipped all over the world to increase food production on pollinated crops. Although we cannot pinpoint the exact cause of death effecting the honeybee population declines, a solution is needed considered necessary if food production rates are to continue at such high levels. Genetic diversity of pollinators has declined because honeybees can out pollinate wild pollinators and by depending exclusively upon one species of pollinator makes farmers and food markets vulnerable to huge economic losses if the pollinator population collapses.
While the source of colony collapse disorder has been traced to the possibility of a virus or bacteria, the main cause is still unknown. In an article published by Environmental Destruction and Biotechnology the author John McDonald theorizes that the honeybee populations are suffering from the bacteria bacillus thuringiensis, which was genetically inserted into crops to defend themselves against pests. Scientists equally fear the honeybee sudden death syndrome with is linked to fast spreading virus, pesticides, cell phone towers, and inherited from mass breeding.
The dependence of food production worldwide relies on the need for a fast solution to the honeybee crisis. Beeologics is a biotech company focused on creating an anti viral drug to that uses RNA interferences to create a bee “vaccination”. The research points to a complex disease involving many factors, while investing in the idea that biotechnology s a “save all solution” there are still too many open variables when genetic rendering.
As consumers of mainstream food production solutions are harder to achieve, the investment in locally and organically produced produce becomes an essential if the bee populations are expected to recover. With more than a third of the worlds food supply dependent on honeybees do them a favor and check out a local farmers market for produce and/or learn more about what you can do at home to help bee populations at The Honeybee Conservancy.