The increasing death rate of honeybees over the years poses a threat to our nation’s food supply. According to commercial beekeeper James Doan, honeybees pollinate one third of our country’s food supply. He said bees are very important, not just for honey production, but also for pollination of the majority of the country’s fruits and vegetables. These include apples, pears, green beans, pumpkins, squash, and many more.
Bees are reported to die at a rate of 5 to 10 percent a year. In 2006, this rate tripled in a phenomenon known as colony collapse disorder. Now, some beekeepers say they’re losing up to 50 percent of their hive.
Experts blame a class of pesticide called neonicotinoids, or “neonics” for the death of the bees. Doan said, “They block the nerve endings of the bee, and so the bee is paralyzed and then what happens is they starve to death, so you see the bee shaking, and it’s a very horrific way of dying for a bee.”