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People Top 5
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- July 28, 2008
- Vol. 70
- No. 4
Where Have All the Bees Gone?
Researchers Fear Changes in the Environment Are Shrinking the Insect Population
In the last 25 years, the managed honeybee population of the U.S. has declined by more than half—and as bees go, so does food: Bees pollinate as much as 30 percent of the nation's food supply—about $14 billion worth of seeds and crops, although there have been no shortages yet. Researchers are looking into pesticides, parasites and a virus that weakens bees' immune systems as possible causes. A University of Virginia study focused on air pollution, saying it destroys the fragrance of flowers, curtailing the bees' ability to follow scent trails. What's clear, says vanEngelsdorp, is that the bees are sending their keepers a message. "This has to make us aware something is seriously wrong. It needs to be a wake-up call: No bees is a bad thing."
January 31, 2015
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