Honey bee populations have been struggling along with the state of the environment for a few years now. With steady population declines of the species each year, the fear that the lack of bees has the potential to damage food supply chains remains constant. Different industries, like honey producers, suffer more directly. Understanding how climate change affects the honey bee population is also essential.
Bees experience the effects of climate change via irregular timing with blossoming flowers, which causes several adverse effects. Bees are on a set timer that should line up with when the flowers begin to bloom. However, flowers bloom earlier and earlier each year and often go unpollinated, resulting in less food for bees. Due to a lack of nutrition, bees are likely to become sicker at a higher rate, causing a reduction in the bee population.
When winter hits, honey bees use the stores of honey in the hive while huddling together to stay warm. This is the most tumultuous time for honey bees, as a failure to keep warm or a lack of food results in the death of the hive. Temperature fluctuations with the weather can confuse the bees when it is safe to begin the collecting process again. This leads to a reduced chance of survival.
Loss of Natural Habitat
As people continue to take over land to build homes and wildfires wreak havoc in other areas, the lack of natural resources makes things difficult for honey bees. The fewer flowers there are to collect from causes bees to have access to fewer resources, reducing their chances of survival. As local bees compete over resources, they travel further and further from the hive to find more food sources. Competition and distance make the return flight for honey bees more difficult each year.
Producers of bulk organic honey suffer with their bees. By focusing on preserving the environment, the lives of honey bees will improve. Everyone needs to consider how climate change affects the honey bee population, as their struggle can lead to consequences for everyone.