Tag Archives: Bumble bees

This study on Bumble bees may save the Honey bee

1 Feb

Nearly a third of global food supplies are directly dependant on Honey bees and the pollination they provide. The relatively recent rise in CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder) is cause for alarm across the world.

bumblebee with pollen

While CCD initially baffled the scientific community, of late some light has been shed on this alarming trend.  Scientists focused on the subject are looking into several avenues of research in order to address CCD. Closely studying their first cousins the Bumblebee is one such avenue. Bumble bees unlike their counterparts the Honey bees have an annual life cycle, meaning that they don’t survive till winter. It is left to the surviving few fertilized queens to repopulate the hive post-winter in the spring.  More info on the larger bee order (Hymenoptera) is available here.

A study conducted by Dr. David Goulson (Prof. Bio-sciences at Uni. of Stirling) on Bumble bees has revealed some startling findings. Monitoring the effect of Neonicotinoids (a neuro-active class of insecticides) on Bumblebees, Goulson found that colonies exposed to “field-realistic” levels of the insecticides reported 85% decline in queen populations.

Bumble bees are protected by national and international laws. Honey bees being domesticated species remain unprotected and vulnerable. It’ll prove extremely difficult for the various world governments to turn a blind eye to the vast populations of Bumble bees that face this fate. However, it will not be as easy to reduce the use of insecticides in the commercialized, profit-driven beekeeping industry we’ve created.


We at ApiAnon hope that this revelation goes a long way encouraging an outright ban of the deadly Neonicotinoids. These insecticides affect the central nervous systems of a range of insects and the link between them and CCD is undeniable.

For more information on Bumble bees and the Dr.Goulson’s work click here

[Photo credit orangeaurochs]