top of page

Why the Bee Business is More Problematic Than You Thought

Nearly everyone loves bees, pretty much since childhood we are taught just how important those hardworking little flying insects are. Going beyond just monetary benefits so large that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration called them “flying dollar bills buzzing over U.S. crops' ' bees' role as pollinators is vital in their support of growth of flowers, fruit, vegetables and more. That is because bees, of which honeybees alone, pollinate 80% of all flowering plants as per U.S. Department of Agriculture. Sadly in many cases bees are treated with much less respect than they deserve with issues ranging from too frequent transport and monocultures to colony collapse disorder.

Starting with monocultures, what is it exactly? It is a type of farming practice where only a single type of crop is planted and harvested, which causes soil degradation. If you’ve lived or driven around areas where year after year, it’s a field of wheat or corn then you’ve seen a monoculture. Some businesses opt for a model where they will transport bees long distances into farms like that so they can be pollinated. So how does this affect the bees? Firstly, it creates a nutrition issue where the poor insect is pretty much forced into a single food source, which in turn creates a nutrition deficiency. We humans and bees are not too different in this aspect, though the ability to fly would be nice to have. Secondly some of those monocultures like the examples of corn and wheat above force bees to move into a different area or starve and that is simply due to the fact they do not produce pollen. An argument conducted by Abby Brasier of Montana State University provides further insight into monocultures. She lists monocultures among the top 3 causes of Colony Collapse Disorder which is when the majority of worker honeybees leave the Queen and the rest of the colony aside. A likely cause is a not diverse enough diet and pesticides that affect the bees health.

When it comes to the transportation issue it is simple. The stress on the bee along with bumps on the road can kill them as well as improper care. A horrible example of that happened in April of 2022 when 5 million bees died awaiting airline transport as they were left starving in hot weather inside cargo crates during hot weather. All that Delta, the airline responsible for the bees had to say was “that’s unfortunate.” Those bees were on their way to pollinate apple orchards and nurseries in Alaska as per the Associated Press. What this means is that beyond the inhumane stress being put on the bees, even upon successful arrival they would be facing an issue of nutrient deficiency and potential colony collapse awaiting. Even if a person is not vegan, we as a collective should rethink our relationship with bees and at the very least provide them with better conditions.

Article By: Kamil Szpojnarowicz

2 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page