What do cotton, apples, limes, tomatoes, carrots, nuts, alfalfa, and many other fruits and vegetables have in common? They all rely on, or depend on, honeybees. But right now, something’s happening to honeybees. It’s not good, and it could change the foods that we eat and the way that we live. Today, on the DailyCast: what’s happening to honeybees?
It’s Wednesday, and you’re listening to the DailyCast from ESLnewscast.com. I’m Cory Renzella, and thank you for listening. I hope your week’s been going well.
Honeybees are small insects that have very important jobs. They live in large groups, called colonies, and they pollinate, or fertilize, plants and flowers.
They do this by transporting, or carrying, pollen from plant to plant. Pollen is a yellowish powder that helps plants and trees grow. Since honeybees move pollen around, they are a necessary, or required, part of our food system.
But they’re also an endangered part of it. If a plant or an animal is endangered, that means that it is in danger of becoming extinct. And if something becomes extinct, that means that there are no longer any living members of its kind. For example, dinosaurs are extinct, because there are no longer any living dinosaurs.
As I said, honeybees are endangered, and their numbers are decreasing. Every year, millions of them die, and some colonies lose nearly a third of their populations each year. Nobody knows for sure why this is happening, but there are some probable, or likely, causes. And at the top of that list of causes are pesticides.
Pesticides are chemicals that farmers use on their crops, or plants, to kill bugs that try to eat the crops. Farmers use all kinds of different pesticides, and while these chemicals can help them grow more food, they are bad for the insects. And, they appear, or seem, to be fatal, meaning “deadly”, to the honeybees.
In some parts of the world, like Europe, the use of some pesticides has been suspended, or temporarily stopped. The hope is that by decreasing the use of harmful, or dangerous, chemicals, the honeybee population will increase. Scientists and researchers are urgently, or quickly and seriously, studying all of this. And even some famous people, like the billionaire British businessman Richard Branson, are speaking out on behalf of, or for, honeybees.
That’s because they realize what many other people are just beginning to realize: a world without honeybees would be a world without cotton, and many fruits and vegetables.
Had you already heard about this danger that honeybees face? I only recently learned about it, but the more you learn, the more frightening, or scary, it becomes. The world would really be in trouble if honeybees were to become extinct.
What are your thoughts on this issue? With all of the damage that people cause to the planet, does this even surprise you? Is there a solution to this problem? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment on our website.
That’s all for today. ESLnewscast.com is “Your English Window to the World”, and wherever you are in the world, I hope you have a good day. Thanks for listening, and I’ll talk to you again tomorrow. Bye-bye.