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Read, summarize, and analyze news items about insects, spiders, or mites - Essay Example

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Declining Populations of Honey Bees Honey bees wandering over flowers in gardens or buzzing around their beehives is a very familiar picture for every one of us. However, not much people are aware of the importance of these honeybees in our daily lives and the impact they have on our agriculture…
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Read, summarize, and analyze news items about insects, spiders, or mites
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Download file to see previous pages Environmental scientists are making every effort to find out the possible causes and save the dying honey bees. A similar article “Honeybee virus: Varroa mite spreads lethal disease” published by Victoria Gill in the BBC Nature highlights one of the important factors responsible for wiping out the honey bee populations (Gill 2012). Honey bees are an important part of our ecosystem and contribute in a significant manner to the environment that is beneficial to the human beings. Honey bees play their role primarily as pollinators and are helpful to the thriving agriculture. As pollinators, they are responsible for over 130 different fruits and vegetable crops that we eat (Kulwicki 2012). Hence, without the honey bees the important process of pollination will be majorly affected, causing the crop industry to encounter a huge collapse. Not just the agriculture, the decline of the honey bees’ population also affects the economy conspicuously. The cost of many crops has increased because of the decreasing honey bees. “This basic supply and demand tilt has already impacted the over $15 billion dollar industry” (Kulwicki 2012). Therefore, the decline in the significant pollinators i.e. honey bees not only the agriculture produce per year will be affected but the economic impact will also be very upsetting. The author of the article has reported about a scientific team studying about the honey bees’ death in Hawaii. The scientists have been studying the death of honeybees caused by a viral disease and have come to a conclusion after their research and investigative study that the Varroa mite is the vector for the deathly virus. According to the scientists, the Varroa mite is the parasitic mite that spreads the lethal virus strain among the honey bees, resulting in a disease called deforming wing virus (Gill 2012). This was an important breakthrough in the research of the causative factors of honeybee death. The Varroa mite specifically incubates the fatal form of the disease and directly injects it into the blood of the honey bees resulting in their death (Gill 2012). Dr. Stephen Martin, the head of the scientists’ team, studied the honey bees in Hawaii where the Varroa mite was transferred from the Californian state approximately five years back. The interesting and helping aspect was that, some honeybees’ colonies in the Hawaiian Islands were still untouched from the fatal effects of the Varroa virus. Hence, the team was provided with a natural laboratory environment within the Hawaiian Islands where they had both the infected and non-infected honey bees. The team monitored both groups of the honey bee colonies for two years to observe the effects of the virus and type of viruses that were responsible for the death (Gill 2012). The outcomes exhibited the relationship between the Varroa mite and the deadly strains of the virus infecting the honey bees. It was evident after the detailed monitoring that the fatal strain of the virus was chosen by the mites as the other strains of the same virus were not harmful in any way to the honey bees. According to Dr. Martin, an infected-honey bee contains a vast number of viruses within itself and the honey bee and viruses both are adapted to each other’s presence and no harmful outcome appears. However, the Varroa-infected honey bee ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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