The number of bees buzzing around America and Germany this year has mysteriously dropped, but scientists don’t know why. Millions of the creatures appear to have disappeared or died, and experts are worried that disease or climate change could be harming them. It’s normal for bee numbers to drop over the winter. But beekeepers say they’re finding lots of empty hives and it’s really unusual to see numbers drop this low. Beekeepers in America are asking their government for help to find out what’s wrong with the insects. It’s thought that about a quarter of bee colonies in the US have been affected by the drop in numbers.And in Germany keepers have warned honey bees could die out if the problem it not investigated.
Many bees are suffering from Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). The hive becomes rapidly defunct with only the queen, eggs and a few immature bees left in the hive. The worker bees are thought to die away when they are unable to return. Without them the colony quickly dies too.
One possible answer is that mobile phone masts may be disorienting bees by interfering with their navigation systems. In which case, they are quite literally becoming missing bees – they are just getting lost! Mobile phone masts have gone up all over the planet. They emit radiation which has been linked to health problems for some people. Unfortunately, once lost, they are likely to stay lost and die away from the hive.
The German pesticide company Bayer has many of its products labelled as “bee-friendly”. This has been accepted by the British Beekeepers Association. Even so, the nicotinamide pesticide clothianidin has been blamed for the deaths of millions of bees in the Rhine valley last year. The company continues to assert that the pesticides were incorrectly used.Some countries are now outlawing the use of these pesticides – Italy, Slovenia and Germany, for example.
“From Various Internet Sites”