The Problem of Decline in Bee Population Essay

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The Problem of Decline in bee population in the USA
Problem: Decreasing Bee population caused by Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) During the 1980s onwards, the population of the bees had decreased at an alarming rate. The cause of the decline was “due to Varroa and tracheal mites: The first Varroa mite infestation was reported in 1987; tracheal mites were first detected in 1984.” [8] These die-offs forced many bee-keepers out of employment. These die-offs during the past were called by various names: “spring dwindle disease, fall dwindle disease, autumn collapse, May disease and disappearing disease.”[3]
The previous die-offs were again observed from 2006 onwards at a much larger scale. The alarming drop in the bee
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Figure 2: Survival over a fourteen day post-infection period observed in cage-trials of Nosema Ceranae and III infected honey bees.

From Figure 2 it can be seen that in July 18 till August 27, there has been some fluctuations in the IIV peptides count however, the trend does show a steady rise in the counts. It is the same case with the nosema peptides: there are firly high fluctuations in the count but it does show an eventual rise in peptides count. This perhaps suggests that Nosema and the IIV work together to help cause CCD. The orange line representing the forager bees were infected with both the pathogens. It shows that the numbers died from 15.1 x 103 to 0.2 x 103 within a period of 14 days.
This method is appropriate because an observation over a period of months would allow the scientist to see what their natural behaviour is like before the infection. However, the infection would allow the scientists to see any abnormalities in their behaviour and thus come to the conclusion what could be causing CCD. They would be looking for common sypmtoms in bees. Furthermore, they would also find out which presence of certain organism causes the deaths of bees.

· Inoculation Experiments [6] – These experiments were used to isolate the IIV which possibly infects CCD bees. Bees without CCD and with low levels of nosema were used and interacted with bees with CCD and higher levels of