Ways Agricultural Pesticides Affect the Honeybee Population

The world would not be the same without bees. These insects are responsible for pollinating flowers and plants to create lush greenery worldwide. Without honeybees, the food, beverage, cosmetics, and medical industries would also look dramatically different. So how do we preserve the lives of bees and prevent these environmental and economic shifts from happening? Many people believe eliminating harmful pesticides is the best solution to protecting the bee population. Learn more about the ways agricultural pesticides affect the honeybee population below.

Direct Contact

The first way agricultural pesticides affect the honeybee population is by coming into direct contact with bees. When farmers expose honeybees to pesticides, the bees might land directly on the pesticides that are on the surfaces of plants and crops. During this direct contact, honeybees often die instantly.

Secondhand Contact

Although direct contact is a tragic way for honeybees to perish, secondhand contact is even more dangerous to bee colonies. Secondhand contact occurs when worker bees collect traces of insecticides and bring them back into their hives. Once a pesticide infiltrates a beehive, the colony will more than likely die.

Contaminated Contact

Traces of pesticides also end up inside pollen and nectar. As honeybees create honey with this contaminated nectar and pollen, they’re likely to become deathly ill and spread the toxins through their entire hives.

Studies also suggest that even when honeybees survive ingesting or coming in direct contact with pesticides, they’ll still experience illness and intense side effects. For example, scientists believe there’s a link between contact with toxic pesticides and honeybee infertility.

These severe and deadly effects all affect the survival of honeybees and our ecosystem. The more pesticides agricultural farmers use, the more likely we’ll continue to see a decline in the honeybee population.

A world without bees would be grim. These insects play paramount roles in our food, beverage, medical, and cosmetics industries. If you’re passionate about preventing global bee decline, consider donating to Save the Bee. Here at Save the Bee, we believe in protecting the honeybee population and preserving our ecosystem. To learn more, browse our website.