by: Adam Bowles
“Once the bees have left the earth,” Einstein said before his death, “man will have four years left on the planet.” The importance of bees’ role in pollination within the food chain has been understood for quite some time. Bees pollinated vast numbers of crops, flowers, and plants.
Bee keepers in Scotland also reported losses for the past three years. Andrew Scarlett, a Perthshire-based bee farmer and honey packer, lost eighty percent of his hives during the 2009 winter. A 2010 survey reported 98 pesticides detected. In February 2007, about forty French deputies, led by Jacques Remiller, requested the creation of parliamentary investigation commission on mortality of bees, underlining that honey production was decreased by one-thousand tons a year for a decade.
In January 2012, a researcher discovered larvae in the test tube of a dead honey bee. It was believed to have been affected by colony collapse disorder, also known as CCD. This is a phenomenon in which worker bees from a bee hive disappear. The larvae had not been there the night before. The larvae were Apocephalus borealis, which are parasitic flies known to prey on humble bumble bees and wasps.
Since that time, it has been suggested that the phorid fly is the cause of CCD. The fly lays eggs in the bees’ abdomen, once they hatch, they start feeding on the bee. When the bee leaves the colony to die the larvae will emerge from the neck of the dying bee.