November 29, 2022


How Will Bees Be Used With The New Discovery?

In the article, “These Bees Can Smell Covid”, (New York Times, Upfront) I learned that bees can smell COVID and is the new development to use as a Covid-19 test. A team of researchers from Wageningen University had trained bees to stick out their tongues when exposed to Covid. This can really help due to their acute sense of smell and their ability to associate the virus with a sugary reward. When the smell was present they would stick their tongue out confirming that there is a positive coronavirus result. 

I think with this new discovery of trained bees can be easier to test if people have covid because then there wouldn’t be the use of swabs in your noses and waiting for a while to get your results back when the bee can just stick its tongue out and tell you in an instant. With this solution, it can be very fast, effective, and super cheap. I believe that with this there can finally be a steady decrease in Covid-19 cases because then doctors can do their thing and save people from this horrible pandemic. In all, this can become a very convenient tool and will not harm the bees since they are just doing the simple task of smelling. 

What do you think will be the best way of using the bees for viruses?

Pollinators and How You Can Help Them

With spring approaching, many people are getting ready to take care of their gardens again but there’s something else we also need to take care of. Pollinators such as bees, moths, and bats can benefit from our attention. Depending on what you’re trying to attract there are some plants that help specific animals but overall you should focus on a wide variety of native plants. Emily Kuhns explains, “You want to have a variety of flowering plants that bloom throughout the growing season. This will provide a regular and diverse source of nectar and nutrients for pollinators. Native plants are the best to use because they evolved alongside our native pollinators — they were made for each other.” Other tips include providing shallow water or water baths and avoiding using pesticides. Feeders and food can be made to attract more pollinators such as butterflies and hummingbirds. Once you’ve made a feeder using a jar, tape, sponge, and wire or twine, hang it upside down and “butterflies will suck the nectar through the cotton or sponge.” There are many other ways you can support pollinators but these are some ways you can help them from home. 

Save the Bees Abstract!

Everyday more and more bees die off. The United States has lost up to 44 percent of their bee population in 2015-16. Bee populations are so low in the US that it now takes 60% of the country’s surviving colonies just to pollinate one California crop. Because of CCD, industrial agriculture, parasites/pathogens, climate change, cell phones, and much more, the bees are dying quite quickly. There are many things we can do to resolve this big problem, but it’s going to take a lot of work. We as humans need to work fast, otherwise, the entire human population could be in big trouble.



Save the Bees! (Part 4)

After doing more research on the Pioneer Databases, I found an article that explains more about the disappearance of the bees. An article on EBSCO said that many hives around the country are experiencing colony collapse disorder (CCD). Hackenberg, a Pennsylvanian bee keeper, had 400 gives on his site and all but 32 hives had collapsed. What was strange about this is that there were no dead bees in sight. Even the moths and beetles that usually raid the hives would not go near the dead bees old homes. They found that high levels of neonics, which are known to disrupt the nervous systems of the bees, can cause disorientation and eventually death. These chemicals have been found in large amounts in pollen, which is the bees main protein source. After doing more research on CCD, they found that more than 170 different chemicals in bees from the affected hives, including fluvalinate and coumaphos, are commonly used by beekeepers to combat varroa mites. Another source from EBSCO says that growing evidence has suggested that neonics disrupt the normal functioning of bees, making them more vulnerable to ailments that eventually lead to death. They say that more than 90 commercial crops in the U.S. rely on pollinators like bees as well.Another article on EBSCO says that Managed honey bee colonies in the United States have dropped by about half since shortly after World War II, and a parasitic mite that arrived in the late 1980s virtually eliminated feral colonies. Though normal attrition of hives over the winter was once about 5 percent, the die-off of honey bees has been around 30 percent each year from 2007 through 2010, according to Agriculture Department surveys.


Save the Bees! (Part Two)

After doing further research, I have found out a lot more about why the bees are disappearing. According to an article in the Global Issues from the Gale research, disease and climate change all play a part in the decline of the bees. They have also found that neonicotinoids, a type of insecticide sprayed directly onto seeds before planting, was linked to a “large-scale and long-term” decline in wild bees.

Another article from Opposing View Points from the Gale research said that bees have been experiencing colony collapse disorder, or CCD, a phenomenon in which adult worker bees leave the hive, which ends up destroying the colony. They think that a possible reason for this is because of a mite called Varroa destructor which preys on several types of bees, including honey bees. What these mites do is they enter the hive and then lay their eggs. Once the mites hatch, they infect the bees causing them to collapse. While these mites are a big problem, they also believe that the reason the bees aren’t returning to their hives is because of cell phones. They did an experiment where they placed two cell phones next to four of eight hives. They marked 25 bees to see be able to return to the hive. They reported that in one exposed colony, only six of twenty-five test bees returned home within forty-five minutes, while in a second exposed colony, no bees returned. 

Overall, there are many contributors to the missing bees, but from what I can tell, we will most likely be able to find a way to save them.

Save the Bees!

The topic I am interested in researching is the decline of the bees. I know that the number of bees is declining quite quickly and I wanted to know what we can do to stop it. I believe that keeping our environment safe and healthy is an important thing to do and the bees are a very important part of our world. So far, I know that pesticides and overworking the bees is contributing very much to why they are disappearing, but I want to know more.

An article from Greenpeace says that the main reason for bee-decline is linked to industrial agriculture, parasites/pathogens and climate change. To help save them, they say to  stop chemical-intensive industrial agriculture and to shift towards ecological farming. Another article from Natural Living Ideas gives us a few ways to help the little critters live on. They say to plant bee friendly flowers and shrubs. By doing this we keep them in a safe area as well as making some plants happy. They also say to buy only local honey. We do this because local beekeepers are much more likely to take good care of the bees and care for their health. Another great way to save the bees is to set up a bee refreshment station. This helps tired bees, that might not have enough energy, find fresh food and water.