Honey bees

And Global Warming

What is global warming?

The earth is naturally kept at a temperature that can support life by its atmosphere. This atmosphere encompasses the planet and is made up of greenhouse gases. The percentage of the heat from the sun that passes through the atmosphere, hits the surface of the earth, and a portion is reflected back into space. The greenhouse gases trap enough heat to sustain life on earth. While greenhouse gases are naturally occurring, human activity enhances the amount of released into the atmosphere. The greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change are carbon dioxide and methane, which are naturally occurring, and nitrous oxide and fluorinated gases, which are man-made. These make it harder for the heat from the sun to excepted, therefore warming the climate of the earth. Because of humans and the gases they release into the air, climate change has been vastly increased and is growing at an exponential rate. (Global Climate Notes 5/8/16)(http://scientificbeekeeping.com/sick-bees-part-18f8-colony-collapse-revisited-beekeeping-economics/)

The Impact Climate Change Has On The Honey Bees

Honey bees are 3/4 inches long and fly approximately 15 mph. They live in hives and are classified in three groups: the queen, workers, and drones. The queen lays eggs while the workers gather food, make honey, build the honeycomb, tend eggs, and guard the hive. The drones mate with the queen to fertilize the eggs. Scientists estimate bees are between 45 million and 200 million years old and aren't originally native to North America. Bee colonies were brought over in the 1600s by European settlers. (http://beneficialbugs.org/bugs/Honeybee/honey_bee.htm)

Honey bees are vitally important to our planet. They pollinate plants which provide our food and oxygen by collecting pollen on the hairs on their legs and spread it to each flower. Without bees, these plants would fail to reproduce and die out. In recent year honey bee populations across the continent have plummeted by as much as 70 percent (http://environment.about.com/od/biodiversityconservation/a/honeybees.htm). The decline in honeybee population can be attributed to many causes, including chemicals used in agriculture, radiation, shrinking habits, and global warming. Global warming is dimisnishing the habitats of bees as well as throwing off the delicate balance in the relationship between bees and their environment. As annual weather averages increase, bees are forced to move North, away from the equator, but their Northern boundary isn't expanding. To add to this, plants are blooming earlier in the spring than they have before, Posing the question of whether bees will be able to emerge with enough polinators in time to take advantage of the pollen and sustain their hive (http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/Bees/bees3.php).

Kendall Chappell