Many people are unaware of the importance of the honey bee. When most people think of a bee, we think of a bee sting or flowers. This is not all the honey bee is about. They play a major roll in our environment. In New England, farmers of cranberries and blueberries are extremely concerned because the bees are disappearing and no one seems to have an explanation. They make over 100 million dollars a year with the help of the honey bee. They not only help with the growth of cranberries and blueberries, but also pumpkins, apples, and squash. 50, 000 dollars has been donated to try to help figure out what is happening to the bees. (Space Daily) The US Department of Agriculture and researchers from the University of Illinois have discovered that some of the bees are disappearing due to CCD (colony collapse disorder), which is a condition in which a worker bee leaves a healthy hive. CCD has killed more than a third of the bees. No one has yet to pinpoint the problem of why this happens or why other bees who don’t suffer from CCD, are also mysteriously vanishing.
One thing they are doing is comparing the differences in the genes between healthy bees and bees suffering from CCD. After comparing both types of bees, they discovered that the bees with CCD shared quite a few infections containing viruses. The viruses that they have attack the ribosome. Large quantities of fragmented ribosomal RNA are being found in the bees with CCD. The ribosome plays an important role in the survival of any organism.
The effect of the missing bees has become wide spread. The British beekeepers lobbied parliament for the efforts of funding research on CDC(colony collapse disorder). Stating that “If this continues it could have an impact on agriculture in general – not just honey production – as bees are needed to pollinate many crops as well”. This on going struggle has already started raring its ugly neck in our pricing, “rising honey 13% in the past two years to be worth pounds 76m in 2008. Such markets as apples, nuts, broccoli, avocados, soybeans, asparagus, celery, squash and cucumbers, citrus fruit, peaches, kiwi, cherries, blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, cantaloupe, melons, as well as feed crops for animals, such as the clover which are fed to dairy cows. Basically all flowering crop are in danger of being effected by this on going issue. All though nature has a way of dealing with pollinating through birds and insect our aquaculture has grown so large nature can seem to balance the influx leaving people scratching there head for what our future holds.