What happens if the bees disappear

What happens if the bees disappear?

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Last year, Nature reported: over the past winter, Europe lost 1/3 of the honeybee population. What happens if the bees disappear? Einstein said that a man would die after the bee.

Frightening numbers

A person can live without oxygen for three minutes, without water for three days, and without bees for four years. At least that's what Einstein thought. The scientist’s quotation appeared in 1941 in the Canadian Bee Journal. From it follows that the death of bees for humanity will be no better than a global catastrophe - a volcanic eruption, a meteorite fall or the explosion of a large hadron collider. The result is still the same.
Meanwhile, the mass death of bees continues. The scientific journal Nature reported that in the southern countries over the past winter, the population decreased by 5%, in central Europe by 10-15%, and in the North by 20%.
In Russia, the number of hives was particularly reduced in the Chelyabinsk and Ulyanovsk regions. In the whole country, bee mortality is 20%. Experts say that the current number of bees is not enough for pollination of all plants. As far back as last year, the UN declared that the death rate of bees is becoming a global problem.

What is the problem?

The story of the death of melliferous insects is not new: the process was launched in the middle of the 20th century, but reached its peak in the last twenty years. There is no single reason, but the main culprit is found - this is a man.
Agriculture has almost everywhere been converted to chemistry - nitrogen fertilizers, pesticides. The latter do not kill insects, but, according to scientists, lower their immunity.
Professor Peter Neumann talks about the bee plague - varroatosis, a disease that the microscopic mite tolerates: This is the most common bee disease, it is difficult to get rid of these ticks, and the treatment and nursing of weakened insects takes a lot of time and rarely leads to the desired results. ”
And it does not rely on the worker bee to be ill. Beekeepers do not particularly care about the health of the members of the hive and continue their business in the usual rhythm: they transport colonies of bees over long distances. In the US, hives are transported from Florida to California for pollination of crops. Such long trips subject the bee colony to tremendous stress. And this leads to the "syndrome of destruction of the colonies."
It was described by American beekeepers in 2006. In the course of the “disease”, insects leave their colonies in order to never return there. Alone, the bees do not live and soon die away from hives. The reason for the strange behavior is chemicals and radio signals of cellular communication, which, according to scientists of the University of Koblenz-Landau, drive winged workers crazy.

What if...?

Yet, what happens if the bees die out, or their population shrinks to a critical level? Is Einstein's prediction, “no bees, no pollination, no food, no person,” will it be fulfilled?
I must say that there are other natural pollinators in the world - flies, butterflies, birds, bats, wind. In addition, not all plants are pollinated by bees. In the old days, the flora of North America and Ireland did well without them. It was the people who brought the bees there.
But since the great geographical discoveries in the world there have been many changes. The population has grown, and the demand for products has grown.
Today, the loss of bees, to which we owe 1/3 of the entire crop, cannot pass without consequences. Mankind will lose not only honey.
The Times and Business Insider publications cite the following chain, citing expert opinion: the more mortality among insects, the faster beekeeping will become unprofitable.People will begin to abandon their craft, and frightening statistics will only worsen. Since most of the harvest depends on the bees, humanity will have to “tighten their belts” - the food stalls will become empty, prices for the remaining products will jump to heaven. Hunger will begin. And do not rely on other components of our daily diet. Since some plants will disappear, livestock will also lose their food, which means there will be a shortage of milk, cheeses, yoghurts and, ultimately, beef. In general, whatever one may say, a world without bees cannot afford the current population of people.
Against the background of the previous idea that a person will have problems with clothes, simply fades. Among other things, bees pollinate cotton. In general, with the tags "100%, 50%, 5% cotton" will have to say goodbye and go to polyester or skins.

Diet of the future

Yet a person will have hope. He will not leave the pig, which does not depend on winged workers. Slightly reduced, but stocks of some basic foodstuffs will not disappear - grain crops, rice, which are pollinated by the wind.
Man will find another salvation where life once originated - in the ocean. The disappearance of the bees will not affect the fish population, but if people get down to business with their inherent gluttony, the marine inhabitants will soon repeat the fate of the insects.

Alternatives

Simultaneously with the search for a solution on how to stop the increase in mortality of bees, scientists are looking for a replacement for them. The first candidate is the bumblebee. He also collects honey, but not as tasty as that of bees. Bumble-bee honey resembles sugar syrup, but it is still not enough. For comparison, after a honey collection, 34 kg of honey were pumped out of two bee families, and the bumblebee was selected using an eye dropper (48 g).
But as a pollinator, the bumblebee showed itself long ago. For example, in some areas of Siberia, agriculture has long been transferred to them. Agronomist Lyudmila Chupina asserts that “bumblebees are more industrious than their relatives and it is cheaper to keep them”. One problem: they are dying out too.
The second potential bee substitute is man. The authors of the study “A World Without Bees”, Benjamin Alison and Brian Mac Kollum, immerse the reader into a world where people have learned to live without honey. This is not the Earth of 2070, but the modern province of China Sichuan. Bees were transferred there twenty years ago, because of the already mentioned pesticides. Nevertheless, the region remains the largest exporter of pears, which are pollinated by bees all over the world, and here by people. Workers manually pollinate flowers. Uncomfortable, expensive, but it works.
Another candidate is a robot bee. According to the Guardian, Harvard engineers are currently developing the new assistant. Already invented experimental models. Robots with wings repeat the movements of the bees and thus pollinate the plants. According to scientists, one decade separates them from the completion of the project.
Still, the world needs bees. Once, 65 million years ago, nature forever crossed out dinosaurs from the “book of life”, but left bees. More precisely, according to biologist Sandra Rehan of the University of New Hampshire, they were revived again after complete extinction. Perhaps they will outlast humanity.

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  • What happens if the bees disappear

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