What are Honey Bee Problems?
In the last few years, social activism in environmental issues has increased. People began to react badly to the facts of the chemical and physical contamination of areas of their life. And also people do not always have objective information about the facts and the boundaries of environmental violations. Often this is due to technical or administrative problems.
However, the number of countries use the live indicator system of environmental monitoring – a family of bees. We know that in the active period of life bees visit honey plants, growing in the area of 12 square km. They bring in the hive different chemical and physical pollutants along with nectar, pollen, and propolis. The appearance of pollutants in the family affects the overall productivity and viability of bees, their disease resistance, and the ability to winter safely.
Rapid and massive reaction of bees to environmental degradation in the area of their pollination activity is a kind of tool to guarantee the reliability of biological control of the environment. What are the main factors of the adverse effect on the life of bee colonies? In our view, they can be divided into 4 main groups.
The first group – Excessive air pollution through industrial emissions – toxic heavy metals and metalloids, chemicals, radionuclides, etc. The solution to this problem is possible only at a high administrative level – through rigorous operational discipline and high civic awareness of management and removal of industrial emissions.
The second group – The chemical pollution of entomophilous plants with pesticides. Farmers start to clear the fields without prior notification of the local beekeepers. The result is a massive poisoning and death of flying bees, and survivors often have nectar and pollen, contaminated with pesticides, which later in the winter become a cause of death of entire families. Using chemicals, people do not always show the normal understanding of the problem; do not take measures to organize technology and timing of protective measures. Apparently, this problem can and must be solved at the level of the regional administration by personal alert of beekeepers about preparing treatments of farmland.
The third group – The impact of different chemical veterinary drugs used directly in the hives. The most effective treatment and prevention of diseases of bees is chemotherapy. Also, there are other ways to impact disease agents, including the use of various plants in their natural form or in the form of infusions, decoctions, and other tools. The problems arise only in connection with the fact that sometimes, beekeepers are inattentive to the recommendations of experts or intentionally violate them, hoping for a significant therapeutic effect, but upset the balance between therapeutic benefit and safety of the use of chemicals. Unregulated use of drugs can lead to accumulation, residues of unauthorized substances in bee products. They can cause significant damage, particularly if their concentration in the bee comb reaches a level toxic to the brood. This problem can be solved.
The fourth group – The intervention of genetically modified plants in the XX century, genetically modified plants have appeared in agriculture (the first plant was tobacco). There is still no clear opinion about the benefits or harm of these plants for animals and humans, but with transgenic plants, there is a problem of bee products as well as the reproductive properties of queen bees. Various studies conducted in Germany showed the possibility of getting of transgenic products into the honey in a different way. They found transgenic material in 11 of 19 samples. People need to study the pollen and ambrosia for the presence of transgenes, particularly in the areas of use of transgenic plants, pollen, which is used to feed humans and bees, bumblebees. It’s important to stude the impact of transgenic products on propolis, royal jelly, bee venom, and beeswax, widely used in medicine. World experience shows that farms often sow the seeds of cheap fodder transgenic corn (maize), which are not intended for use in food products. Maybe that’s why there is a sharp drop in the number of bees in recent years, they simply cannot be born, because the only source of their birth – the queen – is losing the ability to lay eggs.