In Britain and the Netherlands, both bees and plants are disappearing. Scientists are unsure if, bees disappeared first or the plants. Both disappearing trends of bees and plants are having a great impact on the crops and wild species. Dr. Koos Biesmeijer of the University of Leeds in Britain and his colleagues have conducted research and found that 80 percent of the bee population has fallen since 1980. The research also shows that most of the bee species are declining or have become extinct.
In Scotland, the Bumblebee Conservation Trust has started a new project to try and save the endangered bumblebee. They have hired a specially trained cocker spaniel to find any rare bumblebees. The organization hopes to discover the amount of bumblebees that remain and find solutions on how to save them.
Environmentalist website, www.Celsias.com, has conducted research projects and has written numerous articles about the disappearance of bees. Their latest article reported that Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Switzerland, Poland, and possibly the United Kingdom have all experienced the declination of bees. In most of these countries bee withdrawal is, at this point, only affecting the beekeepers. Beekeepers in these countries are worried that the problem will spread and affect other aspects of the country like in the United States.
Spain is home to a quarter of the European Union’s bees, with 2.3 million hives. Scientists have said that 50 percent of the hives are infected with a new parasite that is killing the hives. Scientist, Mariano Higes, and his colleagues have studied hives in many countries and have found that a parasite common in Asian bees have been the reason for the disappearance of bees. In a laboratory experiment, the parasite, nosema ceranae found in Asian bees, can kill the European honeybee within a matter of days. Higes states that this parasite is far more dangerous than any other possible reason for the disappearance of bees. He also said that the hive can become infected within 2 months and within 6 to 18 months, the whole colony can disappear. Mr. Higes and his team have traveled across the world to do research and found that the parasite has gone into Austria, Slovenia, Canada, and Argentina.
In Antigua, the disappearance of bees is affecting the production of honey, one of Antigua’s main exports. Scientists are positive that the disappearance is a result of the varroa mites infecting the bees. The mites came into Antigua from a shipment of construction pipes. This has caused Antigua to struggle in completing orders of honey. Not only does the shortage of honey affect the economy of Antigua but it also affects the countries that rely on the importation of honey from Antigua.