How Your Garden May Actually Be Killing Bees
Guest Writer: Julieane Hernandez
Insecticides in the garden may be effective in killing insects that damage your plants. However, they may also affect the bees, the butterflies, and other friendly organisms that live in the same area. Strong chemicals that make up insecticides are the culprit. Exposing bees to such substances will impact pollination and also possibly kill the bees. In this article, we will list down five facts on why your garden may actually be killing bees.
1. Nearby plants get contaminated.
Once insecticides are sprayed or applied on the plants to get off pesky pests in the garden, nearby plants and flowers also get the chance to be contaminated as well. This is highly likely, especially when there’s heavy rain or after watering, since they share the same soil and the soil absorbs the water from within the same plantation. Bees that pollinate on flowers that are infected will also tend to digest the water-soluble poison.
2. Pesticides hinder bees’ ability to gather enough food.
When one bee is killed or when the killings pile up, the entire hive will suffer since they won’t have enough food to feed themselves. The colony of bees has a high dependence on every bee. This is because every bee has a different role to support their queen. They all work together to gather food, hence contaminated plants with pesticides won’t bring them digestible nectar. As a result, no pollen will be brought back to the native hive. It is also important to know how toxic and concentrated the insecticide has affected the bees.
3. Pesticides make bees forget floral scents.
Bees rely on their sense ability to determine the type of flowers to pollinate with their scents. However, there are two identified types of pesticides that slowly make the bees forget. These are called neonicotinoids and coumaphos that target the brains of the bees and “freeze” their memories, so to speak. A combination of these two result to more dangerous implications. Bees tend to completely forget about the associations between nectar and floral scent.
4. Bees that have been infested with pesticides produce fewer offspring.
When the effect of pesticides swarms to the rest of the bee colony, bees will also have the tendency of producing fewer offspring. It will take a longer time for the remaining native bee colony to pollinate the crops. In modern agriculture, the use of pesticides can’t be helped but there are other ways. Otherwise, beekeepers, growers, government officials, and applicators need to be more mindful of using insecticides only when really necessary and avoiding them when the crops are in a bloom.
5. Chemical exposure of bees affects their nervous system.
Some bees do not immediately die right after ingesting the plants contaminated with the chemicals. Some can still go back to the hive, however their nervous system is already negatively affected. The insecticide is known as neonicotinoids. Bees that eat the plants and seeds with this substance are seriously harmed. What’s even deadlier is when these affected bees come into contact with other bees.
The insecticides are transported to the rest of their colony, leading to more deaths in bees. Given the case, the colony’s field force will decline.
Exposures regarding the use of pesticides and insecticides in the garden have alerted a lot of plant growers. Knowing that its application will harm the pollinators and ultimately the entire garden is only the first step. Acting on resolving the problem is a crucial move that should not be ignored. A declining number of bees and butterflies in the garden is surely a great loss.
“5 Ways Your Garden May Actually Be Killing Bees”
was written by Guest Writer: Julieane Hernandez
Julieane Hernandez is a freelance writer and a hotel and restaurant management graduate turned designer. She’s an advanced tri-athlete during weekends. She’s been in the industry for about 7 years now and She’s learned so much from all the experiences she’s been through. Follow her on twitter and google+
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