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Mubly t1_iwcue0b wrote

This is really interesting, I work with bees for a living and am currently getting some tests run on local (US) and foreign (Yucatán jungle honey) because bee death is such a huge problem in the states.

I have a feeling it’s because the mass use of pesticides has had such an effect on generations of bees leading to mass death. Whereas bees in the Yucatán jungle of Mexico have extremely long lives in comparison. Granted this is not a laboratory experiment and is instead a real world one.


akil01 t1_iwd8n6r wrote

I heard a theory of bees needing mushrooms for the ecosystem. It has something to do with cleaning themselves


b-radly t1_iwd9rqz wrote

There are many factors that would be different between the Yucatán and the US. It would be impossible to say the cause of life expectancy differences with only place names as variables. What data will the tests provide? Thanks


Mubly t1_iwdiai4 wrote

Specifically I'm looking at the amount of various pesticides found in honey samples in the PPB amount. The data provided will allow me to really take a deep dive into pesticide presence in the hive and bee death. I chose the Yucatan because there is (supposedly) close to no commercial ag or pesticide use since the bees forage on untamed land. Their life is extremely long in comparison.

You're right in saying there are many different variables that could lead to bee death, and honestly I think pesticide presence is a moderate contributor. In most bee farms I have been to in the U.S. the beekeepers generally lease out bees to use as pollinators for industrial ag, and by the time they return, the vast majority have died and the beekeeper has to purchase more bees.

I think its combination of unsatisfactory living conditions for the bees, and diet mixed with pesticide presence. Most beekeepers feed their bees sugar water so they can produce more honey, thus making more $$.