The Death Of Bees Explained – Parasites, Poison and Humans

The Death Of Bees Explained – Parasites, Poison and Humans


Human society is extremely
complex and fragile, built upon various pillars. One of them is the honey bee. One out of three meals eaten by humans
is made possible by honey bees. They are so important that if all the
honey bees were to die out, thousands of plants would follow, which could lead to millions of people
starving in the following years. On top of that, honey bees have
a huge economic impact. The dollar value of plants
pollinated by them each year is around $265 billion. Food we take for granted would just
stop existing without them, or there would be a massive
decrease in productivity. Food including apples, onions, pumpkins,
and also plants used for feeding livestock and thus extremely important
for our milk and meat. Einstein is often quoted as having said, “If honey bees die out, humans
will follow a few years later.” Actually, he probably didn’t say that, but there might be some
truth in the statement. It’s unsettling, but honey bees
have started to disappear. Millions of hives have died
in the last few years. Beekeepers all over the world have seen an
annual loss of 30–90% of their colonies. In the US alone, bees
are steadily declining.>From 5 million hives in 1988
to 2.5 million today. Since 2006, a phenomenon called
“colony collapse disorder” has affected honey bees in many countries. And we’re not entirely sure
what’s causing it. All we know is that it’s pretty serious. Over the last few decades bees have seen
an invasion of very dangerous foes. Parasites straight out of a horror movie,
like Acarapis woodi, microscopic mites that infect the tracheae
(that’s the breathing tubes) of bees. Here, they lay their eggs and feed from
the fluids of their victims, weakening them considerably and spending
their whole life inside the bees. Or Varroa destructor, a fitting name
because they can only reproduce in honey bee hives and are one of
the bees’ greatest enemies. The female mite enters a honey bee brood
cell and lays eggs on the bee larva before it’s about to pupate and before the hive bees cover the
cell with a wax capping. The eggs hatch and the young mites and
their mother feed on the developing bee in the safety of the capped cell. The bee is not normally killed
at this stage, just weakened, so it still has enough strength to chew
its way through the wax capping and release itself from the cell. As it does, it releases the mother mite
and her new offspring from the cell, and these are free to
spread across the hive, starting the process over again
in a cycle of about 10 days. Their numbers grow exponentially,
and after a few months, this can lead to the collapse
of the entire bee hive. Once outside of the cell, adult mites
also suck the bodily fludis of bees and weaken them considerably. To make things worse, they also transmit
viruses that harm the bees even more and can lead to birth defects
like useless wings. But there are other threats too,
such as viruses and fungi. Under normal circumstances, these
phenomena should be manageable and are not enough to explain the horrendous amount of
dying going on in bees. Over recent years new insecticides
have been introduced that are deadly to bees. Neonicotinoids, a chemical family
similar to nicotine, was approved in the early 1990s
as an alternative to chemicals like DDT. They attack insects by harming
their nervous systems. Today, they are the most widely
used insecticides in the world. Globally, they saw sales
of €1.5 billion in 2008, representing 24% of the global
market for insecticides. In 2013, neonicotinoids were used in the
US on about 95% of corn and canola crops, and also on the vast majority
of fruit and vegetables, like apples, cherries, peaches, oranges,
berries, leafy greens, tomatoes, potatoes, cereal grains, rice, nuts,
grapes, and many more. Bees come into contact with the toxin while collecting pollen or
via contaminated water, often bringing material into the hive, where it can accumulate and
slowly kill the whole colony. The toxins harm bees in a
variety of horrible ways. In high enough doses, it quickly leads
to convulsions, paralysis, and death. But even in small doses, it can be fatal. It may lead to bees forgetting
how to navigate the world, so bees fly into the wild, get lost, and
die alone, separated from their hives. If this happens often enough, a hive
can lose its ability to sustain itself. We know that neonicotinoids
are harmful to bees and that we urgently need
an alternative to it, but there are billions of dollars
to be made in delaying this. Studies sponsored by the chemical
industry magically appear to prove a much lower toxicity to bees, compared to
those produced by independent scientists. There are even more factors
contributing to the demise of bees, like too much genetic uniformity,
crop monocultures, poor nutrition due to overcrowding,
stress because of human activities, and other pesticides. Each of those factors on its own is
a major problem for bees, but together, they probably account
for colony collapse disorder. With parasites upping their
game in recent decades, the honey bees are now
fighting for survival. It would be a catastrophe
if they lost this fight. This is a conundrum we have to solve
if we want to continue living with a relative abundance
and diversity of food. Humanity is deeply interconnected with
Earth and the other lifeforms on it, even if we pretend that we’re not. We have to take better care
of our surroundings, if not to preserve the beauty of nature,
then at least to ensure our own survival. This video is supported by the
Australian Academy of Science, which promotes and supports
excellence in science. See more at . It was a blast to work with them,
so go check out their site. Our videos are also made possible
by your support on . Recently, we passed
an important milestone, which is why there will be
an additional video in July. If you want to support us and become
part of the Kurzgesagt Bird Army, check out our Patreon page! Recently, the YouTube channel
Field Day gave us the oppotunity to make something different: a
short video about Game of Thrones. Go check it out on their channel! Subtitles by the Amara.org community

100 thoughts on “The Death Of Bees Explained – Parasites, Poison and Humans”

  1. What brought me to do a quick search on Google and stumble across this video was the fact that since I left home this morning I noticed bees being very inactive (North of Germany). They are isolated, not in company of others and even if you offer them some drops of water, they will not move closer. It makes me sad, it is terrible what we are doing to nature.

  2. BEES AND WASPS HARVEST WATER … AS WELL AS NECTAR FOR HONEY. THE MOISTURE IN THE AIR IS USUALLY INVISIBLE TO HUMANS. WHEN COLD PARTICLES OR COLD MOUNTAINS HIT THE WARM AIR POCKETS.. THE MOISTURE DROPLETS THAT ARE INVISIBLE TO THE NAKED EYE, BECOME LARGER AND FORM CLOUDS. THE CHEMTRAILING.. IS STEALING THE MOISTURE, WITH REPEATED CHEMTRAILING… WHICH IS STEALING THE INVISIBLE MOISTURE FROM THE AIR.. AND THEREFORE THERE IS NOT ENOUGH WATER FOR THE BEES AND WASPS.. WHO USUALLY COLLECT THE WATER. THAT IS WHY BEES AND WASPS CAN BE SEEN ON THE PAVEMENTS STRUGGLING.. THEY ARE DROUGHTED.. LIKE THE LAND AFRICA…. WE HAVE TO STOP THE CHEMTRAILING. THE CHEMTRAILING IS DROUGHTING LAND FOR LAND GRABBING IN AFRICA…. MAKING LARGE AREAS UNINHABITAL. THE RICH PEOPLE ARE CRAZY ENOUGH TO SERIOUSLY BE DOING THIS. AMERICA CHEMTRAILED VIETNAM IN THE VIETNAM WAR.. AND NOW OUR GOVERNMENTS ARE DOING IT TO THE WHOLE POPULATIONS !!!! ! THE CHEMTRAILING IS STEALING THE INVISIBLE MOISTURE IN THE AIR… WHICH THE BEES AND WASPS RELY ON. THEY FORM CLOUDS WHEN COLD PARTICLES HIT WARM AIR POCKETS… ITS HOW CLOUDS ARE MADE.

  3. The message of all these videos about the nature is 'DO SOMETHING! DON'T JUST STAY THERE WATCHING HOW OUR PLANET IS DISAPPERING!'. But nobody says HOW to help, WHAT to do exactly. I doubt that my positive thought are going to save anybody. Plus the biggest problem isn't the average person, it is the big factories, the states, the parliaments in the countries.

  4. Keep the danm bees alive

    Put away that bee sprayer ma'am

    Sir put your shoes down

    Dont kill barry, ken

  5. This video represents what I believe is everyone’s basic understanding of the problems facing honey bees today. But it is missing some facts… big facts. The poor, sad, dying honey bee that we are hearing so much about lately is only one of 16,000 bee species, and it is not even native to North America. It’s a good thing that we are looking out for these little critters, but why are we only worried about the honey bees and ignoring the other 16,000 species? Do we even know the status of the other 16,000 species? Did you know that those 16,000 species are also pollinators?

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  7. In America the western honey bees are invasive and technically harm america. They and steal food, pollen and space and since people are protecting bees for money with bug repellent and poison not only are they harming bugs but other pollinators. Western huney bees are bad in America. Sorry Kurgizat but bees are aren't the only pollinators yes its concerning that bees are dying but not because bees are dying but more the natural pollinators and other bugs. They take pollen from plants and keep others down while others leave pollen for others. Ants, beetles, butterflies, moths and native bees are pollinators too. When the honey bee came to America with the english was America deprived of plants and vegetation? No! They literally keep the other pollinators down buy letting them have less opspring. Mo wonder bees produce 70% of pollination keep the bee rate low so other pollinators can't grow and we eventually start getting rid of invasive bees and help the natural ecosystem grow. Basically all invasive species are harmful and bees are no different.

  8. 😓😔😖😭😦😿😞😞😞😞😞😞☹️☹️☹️🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺☹️😱😱😱😱😱😱

  9. Honey bees are a invasive species in the us we do not need them they are killing our native bees. We should worry about the native bees, not the honey industry.

  10. This is but one of many examples of how Humans are similar to scum-sucking, thoughtless, instinct-driven, selfish, virus-spreading, self-exterminating mites.

    Luckily, there are a minority of c**ts in our race. Less luckily, we are easily influenced by them and are not educated enough about how we interact with our world and what the consequences are of our daily choices, that we can actually stop these disasters.

    Until of course, an alternative is discovered that can make them even more money.

  11. Just don't say anything about gm pollen… distract. Reminds me of the Bible when they said to pharaoh (paraphrase) "How long will you let this go on, can't you see Egypt is destroyed."

  12. Farmers are murdering bees like they're murdering us and their own family members. Their greed for profit has made them demonic with poisons. They're fanatical poisoners. They've supported every single poison to put on your food that's come along. This support of Farmers crap is nothing but pocket stuffing with YOUR money, to convince you to give it to them to NOT grow, and to kill bees and people. Let's be honest here. They suck Monsanto and they have no other lover.

  13. Me: So your telling me that your kind is very important to us?………
    Honey bee : knods
    Me:……..
    Me: DO YOUR WORST!!!!!!!!!

  14. No that wouldn't happen because there are thousands of different bees and other animals can replace honeybeesl

  15. I'd note the fact that… there are like 19,000 species of pollinators in the US (approximately), but the honeybee has stomped a lot of them into relative obscurity.

  16. Hornet: be-bee are you o-okay?

    Bee: I-I don’t feel so good.

    Hornet: don’t go away!

    Bee: fades into dust

    Hornet: 😢😢😢😔😔😔

  17. I don't if bees died, so long got rice and sesame oil, chicken can be feed of rice too. Wasp however is crucial for mini gladiator

  18. shes killing all the bees
    shes killing all the bees
    we don’t know why but she’s killing all the bees
    DK, goodbye bees

  19. People do know that there are other types of bees and even more types of pollinators. We are actually harming the environment by our over use of honey bees in their none natural environment. A lot of business use honey bees because they are easier and you can make more money off them because of the honey. The problem is that they business are using them in areas they are not native. This hurts the native pollinators and because they are not native to these areas they are more likely to have a hive die. Yes honey bees are important but so are other kinds of pollinators that we are driving to extinction because of over use of only one.

  20. Another one of these videos? Bees aren't going extinct at all, just a bee in Hawaii. If you check the honey bee endangerment status it is unendangered. And even in cities like where I live bees are thriving. We have a bush in our front lawn with probably 100 bees on it during the day, and bees are still everywhere.

  21. Bees are not the only pollinators there are others and Bees are killing them look back when bees we’re not around plant life was fine they’re actually an invasive species boom I smart

  22. Why should I care I have never been stung by a bee and if I did it would hurt write down in the✏📦 if you think it would hurt or if it does hurt ok thanks.

  23. You forgot to mention that honey bees are an invasive species in the US. Aka they are killing the natives. They're kindda like Native Americans. MatPat did a great video on this.

  24. Love the video but just wanna day that honey bees are an invasive species in America stoping other spices of bee from being able to survive.

  25. Honey bees are only as important as they are because they are insainly invasive so they eliminate native pollinators leaving no alternatives. There are native bees, wasps, flies, birds, and many major food plants such as most grains are wind pollinated and would'nt be affected.

  26. Lately I've seen strange things happening to bees, they loose their orientation and end up dying in my flat or when I'm out eating, they always come and stand on my food. I live in London and even in my holidays in Prague, this kept happening. Should we be worried? How can we change the environment and assure that bees are preserved?

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