by Hailey Zheng
Honey may be the bee’s knees, but the decrease in bee population is definitely not. For years, bee populations have been declining quickly. Although no honey bees are in danger, there are still over 50 species endangered and about 10 species possibly extinct (meaning missing or only known from historical experiences, but hope still exists for rediscovery).
Santa Barbara Junior High has a history of bees. In the week of November 2, a small group of bees went on a sojourn to the front of our school. In a group about the size of a small football, part of the colony followed the queen bee into a small bush. They stayed for about three days, and eventually left because the space was unprotected, and therefore, unsafe. This isn’t the first time that SBJHS has had occurrences with bees, but the third this year; and a number of bee appearances were noted last year.
4,000 bee species in North America are affected by Colony Collapse Disorder, or CCD. There is no proven cause for CCD, but there is research going on to find out. Bee population declines are due to many things not linked to CCD. Symptoms of CCD include abandoned hives (live queen stays) and no dead bees found in or around the hive.
Other causes of decrease in bee population include the use of neonicotinoids (and other pesticides), support of non-organic companies, the fact that many humans will kill bees when they are bothering them, and even the use of cell phones. Cell signals confuse bees, so they emit a heavy buzzing noise during phone calls. This causes a chain confusion throughout the bees in the area. To prevent this, turning off your cell phone or putting it on airplane mode when it isn’t in use can help bees and do much more than just reducing the release of radioactive waves.
Bees suffer from malnutrition because of the way they are farmed. Honey is a very popular “condiment,” so beekeepers and bee farmers try to force bees to make honey as fast as possible. This isn’t healthy for bees, and this is one of the causes of the bee population decrease.
Supporting a local organization that aids bees or even just doing so much as not killing bees when you see them can do more than you think it can. It’s tempting to squish bugs, but they do much more for the world than be a cause of annoyances. Help save the bees!