Harvard Study Reveals Our Future Is At Risk, Because We’re Killing Off an Unexpected Species

By: Matt Essert
The news: New research from Harvard University indicates that the world’s bee populations are dropping at alarming rates and toxic insecticides are to blame. According to the study, the world’s most popular insecticide led to half the colonies studied dying, while none of the untreated colonies saw their bees disappear.
“We demonstrated that neonicotinoids are highly likely to be responsible for triggering ‘colony collapse disorder’ in honeybee hives that were healthy prior to the arrival of winter,” Chensheng Lu, an expert on environmental exposure biology at Harvard School of Public Health and who led the work, told the Guardian.
Over the past decade, Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) has become a major problem, leading to a 40% loss in commercial honeybees in the U.S. since 2006 and a 45% loss of them in the U.K. since 2010. It’s believed CCD has wiped out an estimated 10 million beehives, worth $2 billion, over the past six years.
Why care about bees? “If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.”
That anonymous quotation encapsulates the thinking of certain scientists who believe that bees are the key to our survival. Currently, somewhere between one-quarter and one-third of all the food we eat depends on bee pollination. That, along with their honey production, means a big chunk of global economies and food supplies could be in a precarious place very soon. In 2007, England’s National Audit Office examined data to determine the value of honeybees to the U.K. economy and found that their services equated to roughly £200 million ($336 million USD) a year and the retail value of what they pollinate comes out to about £1 billion ($1.7 billion USD) annually. And that’s just for one country — the hit would be much worse when considered globally.
But the new findings from Harvard mean we can breathe a slight sigh of relief. As scary as it was, until now, we didn’t really know what was causing CCD. Another study last year from the University of Maryland argued that a certain cocktail of fungicides may have been leading to the dwindling bee numbers. However, the Harvard study’s more specific analysis lets us pinpoint exactly what we’re doing that’s killing all these bees and leading to CCD.
Scientists had previously believed that certain insecticides were causing CCD by damaging bees’ immune systems, making them more vulnerable to parasites and disease. But the new Harvard study undermines this theory and instead argues that “impairment of honey bee neurological functions, specifically memory, cognition, or behaviour, [come] as the results from the chronic sub-lethal neonicotinoid exposure.”
Despite these findings, what’s still troubling is that the culprit is one of the world’s most widely used insecticides. No matter how urgent this is, it’s undoubtedly going to be very difficult to change the world’s number one anything, and the hurdles in educating the public on this problem will likely mean people won’t necessarily be ready to change their ways.
Save our bees! Some people have taken their own steps to combat the problem. One group started a petition on Care2, “Tell the EPA: Save our bees and crops! Ban toxic pesticides!”SOS-Bees, an off-shoot of Greenpeace, has been rallying behind the movement to save the bees. The EU imposed a continent-wide ban on certain insecticides last year in an attempt to revitalize the wanning bee population. Hopefully the rest of the world will take similar action, because if the bee population continues to decline, honey shortages will be the least of our concerns.

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பெண்களுக்குபலநன்மைகளைக்கொடுக்கக்கூடியஓர்இஸ்லாமியநடைமுறை பெண்பிறப்புறுப்புசிதைவைபெண்விருத்தசேதனத்துடன்குழப்பிபலஎழுத்தாளர்கள்பிந்தையநாட்களில்பெண்விருத்தசேதனம்பற்றிஎழுதியுள்ளனர். எனினும்இதுஉண்மைக்குப்புறம்பானது. பெண்விருத்தசேதனம்என்பதுகிளிட்டோரிசைசூழ்ந்துள்ளபெண்முனைப்புத்தோலைநீக்குவதாகும்எனஇஸ்லாம்பரிந்துரைக்கிறது. இதுபலசுகாதாரநன்மைகளைத்தரக்கூடியஇ சிறியஇநோவினைஅற்றஇ ஆண்விருத்தசேதனம்போன்றஒருசெயல்முiறையாகும்.

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