I’m sure you have all been reading about the recent trend of bee colonies collapsing suddenly for no apparent reason. The phenomenon called Colony Collapse Disorder is currently on the rise. Although the disorder has been reported as early as 1896, it recently is happening at an accelerated rate.
There have been many theories about why it is happening. Parasites, GMO crops, pollution, etc. The current theory that is making the rounds is that cellphones are responsible for causing the collapse. Although i suppose this is possible, it doesn’t seem probable. The reason why i doubt it is because the collapses should be happening near cell towers, yet there have been some in the middle of nowhere from what I understand. And yet others thrive with cell towers smack in the middle of the bee farm.
The thing I have been wondering is why the global warming or environmentalists haven’t thrown any thoughts on the table. Considering bees disappearing would cause a tremendous trickle down effect that could possible destabilize the entire food chain of the planet, you would think there would be more “I told you so”ing and blamestorming.
So here we go. I am going to put a few thoughts on the table. The main thing that seems to be consistent across all the collapses is the fact that the colony has a tremendous amount of pathogens. Obviously something is causing the increase, directly or indirectly.
Ozone Layer – Bees see in Ultraviolet Light(UV). This is because most flowers and plants that rely on bees for pollination have UV reactive coloring that makes them obvious targets to the bees. However, i was thinking about this. The ozone layer is reduced, so as a result more UV can penetrate the atmosphere, reaching the surface. My thought is this could be producing a tremendous amount of background light that is starting to drown out the targets of flowers. Think of it like a white background with an object in front of it. Shine a really really bright spotlight on it, and the object eventually becomes almost impossible to see because the background is so bright, it overloads your eyes (simplification, but you get the idea i think). I actually have been thinking about this one alot, wondering why this has never been mentioned from what I can tell. As a result of this “white out” effect, the bees maybe have a more restricted diet of flowers, maybe the ones with the brightest UV markers. This narrow diet could be building up certain pathogens faster than they normally would with a wider diet.
Global Warming – Sure why not. Lets blame this on it also. But it could make sense on actually a few levels. First is the temperature issue inside the hive. Slightly higher average global temperatures could be causing the internal hive temperatures to average slightly higher as well. This may be pushing the hive to a temperature that allows pathogens to thrive more readily. The other could be outside temperature. The bees are abandoning hives because something is wrong, the hive is stressed, and it can’t support the bees. If the temperature has changed enough to lower pollen production, or water availability, who knows. But the one thought I had was air density. as it gets warmer, air gets thinner, less dense. Less dense air would mean more effort to fly. More effort means more calories, more calories means more food needed, which means less for the baby bees. They grow less healthy, and start getting sick.
Obviously I am not a bee expert, or even a student, or even a person that cares all that much. But I am someone who doesn’t want Einstein’s prediction to come true, cause that would suck. Even though he never said it the sentiment is still sound.