Plight of the Honey Bee

November 30, 2017 | Cathy

Comments (0)

Western  honey bee and red flowers

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

As a child, I suffered from apiphobia or melissophobia -- the fear of bees and bee stings, but now I fear for the health and well-being of the honey bee. I must admit that many of the useful roles bees play in agriculture, I first learned about in Bee Movie. As bees gather pollen and nectar from flowers, some of the pollen from the stamens (the male reproductive parts) is transferred onto their bodies. The pollen is then deposited onto the female parts of other plants they visit. Bees help to pollinate the plants we eat everyday, such as cucumbers, cherries, apples, broccoli, blueberries and pumpkins. So bee health is directly tied to human health.

Honey bees are suffering from Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) in which the queen bee and immature bees remain, along with a health supply of honey, but the majority of the worker bees have disappeared. There are several theories about why CCD happens including: honey bee pests and viruses, pesticide poisoning, changes to the bees' foraging environment and poor nutrition. Dr. Amro Zayed studies the honey bee in his laboratory at York University's Department of Biology and will be speaking about his research at Hillcrest Branch on Tuesday, December 5th at 7 pm.

If y0u can't attend Dr. Zayed's presentation, learn more about bees by checking out the following:

Book cover of What's the buzz? : keeping bees in flight
Book cover of Honey : a global history Book cover of The benevolent bee : capture the bounty of the hive through science, history, home remedies and craft