The latest buzz in the science world: Honeybees are dying of something that is freakishly similar to the coronavirus.
Bee populations around the globe have been decimated by a viral disease that creeps into hives via asymptomatic insects and spreads like wildfire, British researchers discovered. Their research even suggests the insects could benefit from social distancing...
Where would we be without bees? As far as important species go, they are top of the list. They are critical pollinators: they pollinate 70 of the around 100 crop species that feed 90% of the world. Honey bees are responsible for $30 billion a year in crops.
That’s only the start. We may lose all the plants that bees pollinate, all of the animals that eat those plants and so on up the food chain. Which means a world without bees could struggle to sustain the global human population of 7 billion. Our supermarkets would have half the amount of fruit and vegetables.
It gets worse. We are losing bees at an alarming rate. Possible reasons include the loss of flower meadows, the crab-like varroa mite that feasts on their blood, climate change, and use of pesticides.