Are Honeybees’ Days Numbered?

The honeybee population has suffered significantly in recent years, and a study released Thursday found this devastation is a result of multiple causes. These factors include pesticides, parasites, lack of genetic diversity and poor nutrition. According to the report, no one factor is greater than the others and further research is suggested.

While European officials have banned neonicotinoids, a type of pesticide derived from nicotine, this week, officials in the United States Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency said there is not enough evidence from the study to ban anything here.

Honeybees play a major role in the food chain; they pollinate about 35 percent of our food, and more than 90 percent of crops depend on the honeybee’s pollen. Dr. Marla Spivak, a renowned entomologist at the University of Minnesota, told Mpls.St.Paul Magazine that 30 to 40 percent of all bee colonies fail annually due to a “matrix of post-war agricultural phenomena,” ranging from single-cell organisms to parasitic mites.