Why The Death Of 37 Million Bees Matters To You

Honeybees are dying at astronomical rates in the United States, Canada, and Europe, a phenomenon which could potentially have dire effects on the world economy and agricultural ecosystem.

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Ontario beekeeper David Schuit recently reported the death of over 37 million bees (approximately 600 hives) during the month of June.

Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Note: Pictured above is J & P Apiary and Gentzel's Bees, Honey and Pollination Company

This announcement came just two weeks after the unexpected death of over 25,000 bumblebees in the parking lot of the Wilsonville, Ore., Target.

AP

This photo provided by the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation shows some of the thousands of dead and dying bees found in the parking lot of a shopping center in Wilsonville, Ore.

As CCD continues to ravage commercial honeybee populations, scientists and governments are now stepping in to help determine the cause of this startling phenomenon.

Some studies point to neonictonoids (pesticides) as the potential cause behind CCD, though the evidence remains largely inconclusive.

Via Shutterstock

According to the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, neonicotinoids can persist in soil for months or years after a single application. And though there is no direct link demonstrated between neonicotinoids and CCD, recent research suggests that neonicotinoids may make honeybees more susceptible to parasites and pathogens, including the intestinal parasite Nosema, which has been implicated as one causative factor in CCD.

In an effort to help determine what is causing CCD, the European Commission opted, in April, to ban the use of three pesticides belonging to the neonictonoid family for three years beginning Dec. 31, 2013.

In 2012 the rates of CCD decreased to an average loss of 22% in the winter season. As of now it has yet to be determined what the average losses will be for 2013.

BuzzFeed Violet Producer ashley.perez@buzzfeed.com

Contact Ashly Perez at ashley.perez@buzzfeed.com.

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