Honey Bees disappearing from the globe, a perilous fact

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1400 years ago Quran refers to bee that generates honey. And your Lord inspired to the bees,


“Take for you self among the mountains, houses and amount the trees and [in] that which


they construct. Then eat from all the fruits and follow the ways of your Lord laid down [for


you]”. There emerges from their bellies a drink, varying in colors, in which there is healing


for people. Indeed that is a sign for people who give thoughts. [Al-Quran – Surah An-


Nahl ].


Honey bee is a highly sophisticated social insect that has evolved over millions of years.


Literature supports that bees were first discovered in Myanmar (Burma) 100 million years ago.


Honey bees have cast system consisting of queen, worker and drones. Queen is only fertile


female that controls the hive and nourished specifically for laying eggs. Workers, majority


population of colony, are responsible for nectar and pollen collection, hive maintenance and


security concerns. Only drones are males, product of unfertile eggs. They dont have any work


in the colony except to mate with queen.


Bees regularly visit and collect nectar from flowers. Its thought they make about 10 million


nectar-collecting trips to produce enough honey to fill a 450g jar. Collecting nectar stored in her


honey sac, a specialized part of gut and here small amount of protein is added in nectar to


convert into sugar. This sugary substance enriched with energy is called honey. It has countless


health benefits and is important element of traditional medication such as antiseptics, helps in


normal blood regulation, and aids in weight loss, maintain blood sugar level, good source of


vitamins and minerals. It also use in cosmetic to helps in creating smooth and beautiful skin.


Apiculture products such as pollen, wax for food processing, propolis in food technology, and


royal jelly used as a dietary supplement and as an ingredient in food.


Another marvelous health service of bees is “Apitherapy or bee sting therapy by which bee


venom is used in the treatment of some conditions like multiple sclerosis, arthritis, wounds, pain,


gout, shingles, burns, tendonitis, and infections.


For the reproductive stage of plants, pollination is essential process; mostly pollination process is


carried out by insect. Among all insects, Honey bee is excellent pollinator. Naturally, its legs are


morphologically modified into pollen collecting basket to facilitate the pollination.


The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) estimates that of the 100


crop species that provide 90% of food worldwide, 71 are pollinated by bees. Pollination by bees


is a very sensitive and complex process and, as a matter of fact, these are qualitative properties,


which cannot be measured in terms of economic index. Thats why Elbert Einstein said that if


the Bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man wouldve only four years left.


Based upon the latest report on bees mortality in France, there is a dramatic decline in the


population dynamics of honey bee observed in most regions of world. This report revealed that


in America, Japan, Europe and Asian countries the sudden abate in bees population poses a


serious threat to crop production. Furthermore this report narrated the causes of this chaos. These


are injudicious use of pesticides, detrimental human activities, pollution and non-resilient harsh


climate.


European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) documented a number of risks posed to bees by three


neonicotinoid insecticides, clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam as seed treatment or as


granules, with particular regard to their acute and chronic effects on bee colony survival and


development. Studies have shown these chemicals absorbed through pollen and nectar weakens


bees and affects their abilities to forage and navigate. These are banned in Europe and under


review in Canada and the United States. Unfortunately, these pesticides are massively applied in


crop fields of Pakistan against different pests.


In spite of its noteworthy services to mankind, population of bees is at stake due to various


factors. Escalating Urbanization, habitat that nurture honey bee is vanishing by each passing day.


Forests are disappearing; the Berry trees are used as a fuel, thus consequently the refusal of


breeding places to Bees. Air pollution, obnoxious pesticides residues and noisy environment are


major factors enhancing mortality rate among honey bee. Ironically, our major crop production is


chiefly depends upon honey bee survival. So, what will happen to our survival if bees will


obsolete entirely from the globe, even no one can imagine.


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Published in: Volume 07 Issue 25

Short Link: http://www.technologytimes.pk/?p=15854