The humble honeybee is in big, big trouble, and that could cause some major problems for mankind as well.
As we reported, a huge discovery about honeybees took scientists by surprise recently, but the reality of just how grim things are for this vital species, and how it could impact us, may surprise you. The study found that U.S. beekeepers lost 21 percent of their colonies this past winter, which was a significant drop from the 27 percent last winter, although still short of the goal of 15 percent set by the U.S. government.
This is important because honeybee populations have been in big trouble in recent years. Why should you care? Because honeybees contribute to a third of the country’s food supply.
America’s farmers rely on bees to do the massive job of pollinating the country’s plants. But as their numbers dwindle, there’s been great concern in the scientific community about what kind of impact it will have on mankind in the future. Without honeybees, we wouldn’t have blueberries, strawberries, or most vegetables.
That’s why this bit of good news is so important, even though researchers are cautioning that we’re not out of the woods yet.
“It’s good news in that the numbers are down, but it’s certainly not a good picture,” survey director Dennis vanEngelsdorp said in a Press Herald report. “It’s gone from horrible to bad.”
“We would of course all love it if the trend continues, but there are so many factors playing a role in colony health,” said bee expert Elina Lastro Nino at the University of California Davis, also according to the Press Herald. “I am glad to see this, but wouldn’t celebrate too much yet.”