By Rory Hallowell — Milton Academy
Bees have a critically important job in our ecosystem: pollination. According to the USDA Forest Service “Pollination is the act of transferring pollen grains from the male anther of a flower to the female stigma. The goal of every living organism, including plants, is to create offspring for the next generation. One of the ways that plants can produce offspring is by making seeds.” If all the bees disappear, then the plants they pollinate disappear too. And when the plants disappear, so do the apples, mangoes, coconuts and other fruits. This is why Albert Einstein said “ If the Bee disappeared off the face of the Earth, man would only have four years left to live. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.”
Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is a disease that consistently kills mass quantities of bees. The EPA reports that the U.S government is currently working on legislation to outlaw pesticides that may contribute to CCD. A study by Harvard, shows a significant connection between neonaticides and CCD but does not fully determine that neonaticides directly cause CCD. The study also reported that unusually cold weather can have an impact on CCD as well. The BBC reports that countries that France and Italy have already outlawed the use of neonicotinoids during pollinating season.
Mr. Ned Bean, a science teacher at Milton Academy and a once avid bee-keeper had some thoughts on the matter when I interview him on October 5th 2017. Before 2007, if you put a clean glass in his mailbox, he would fill it up with honey from one of his seven beehives on the Milton Academy campus. Unfortunately, all of his hives have since perished, potentially due to CCD. Mr. Bean says that it is important to sustain bee populations amidst CCD because an enormous amount of the food supply depends on bees. In fact, according to honeylove.org, “1 out of every 3 or 4 bites of food you eat is thanks to bees.”
If Albert Einstein is correct, we must save the bee populations and outlaw pesticides that cause CCD. If we do not, we may only have four years left to live.
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“Bee Deaths: EU to Ban Neonicotinoid Pesticides.” BBC News, BBC, 29 Apr. 2013, www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-22335520.