Billion dollar food industry, trying to avoid being stung

There is cause for concern as Canada’s bee population is being put to the test. Bees in Canada have been dropping like flies. Bees are the driving force behind the production of over a third of Canada’s food source, and are directly responsible for over $1 billion dollars in revenue.

Crops, vegetables, canola, and even part of the oxygen we breathe correlates from the trees and plants pollinated by our stinging friends. Bees pollinate the crops that produce the fruit that goes into the wine we drink on special occasions. So, having no bees will put a real sting in your love life.

Bees are vital to our food chain and may become the cause of a missing link in our ecosystem. Something we can’t live without. The bees have been hit catastrophically with losses of 45 per cent over the last 15 years. Alberta is home to Canada’s largest bee population, which dropped 36 per cent in the last year.

The bees are facing several obstacles that must be overcome to ensure their survival and ultimately, ours. The loss of bees to our food chain is a price we don’t want to pay.

Since its arrival from Asia in 1989, the Varroa Deconstructor has been a thorn in the side of bees across the nation. Since that time, the external parasitic mite has been directly responsible for mortality rates of 15-18 per cent … Until now. The mite has grown in strength and has developed a resistance to all the methods that beekeepers have thrown at them, leaving experts puzzled about what to do. In November of 2006, beekeepers started to notice an abnormal behavior where most of the worker bees would leave the hive to pollinate and didn’t return. This led to the collapse of the bee colony in less than a week. This condition is called CCD or Colony Collapse disorder, and has raised major concerns with scientists not only in Canada, but around the globe.

The most troubling fact is that scientists and bee experts have no idea how the ladder problems can be solved. Including a government that doesn’t seem to understand how grave the crisis is.

What would happen if Canada lost over a third of its food production?

For many, that’s a terrifying thought.

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