Bees extinction: causes and consequences


The phrase "bees are dying out" today sounds like an ominous harbinger of the coming apocalypse, not only for humanity, but for the entire planet. But the Earth and not seen such extinction. She will survive. And humanity will quickly disappear after the bees, if you can not stop the extinction of these workers.

What role do bees play?

A bee is an insect at the beginning of the food chain. This means that if the bees disappear, the whole chain will collapse. One link will disappear after the other.

Bees pollinate 80% of crops. This is mainly fruit trees and shrubs. The decrease in the number of bee colonies has already led to the fact that in 2009-2013, farmers did not harvest a third of the crop of apples and almonds. These crops are most affected by the disappearance of pollinators. In the United States had to enter the state support of beekeeping. Every year new families are brought into the areas affected by the extinction of the colonies.

Even self-pollinating fruits and berries without bees reduce yields. This is clearly seen in the example of strawberries, which produce 53% of the berries by selfing, 14% due to the wind and 20% pollinate bees. Economic damage from the death of pollinators in the United States alone is already estimated at billions of dollars.

Attention! In Russia, no one is engaged in counting the damage from the disappearance of bees, but it is hardly less.

Economic damage is not as important as the fact that without pollinators, plant-based food will disappear next year. Most pumpkin can not yield by selfing. Questions of survival and death of bees and humans are interrelated.

Why do bees disappear on the planet

The answer to this question has not yet been found. The main blame for the disappearance of pollinating insects is laid on the widespread use of chemicals in the fields. But the final version is not proven, as there are facts that contradict this theory. There are falsifications of experimental results from both supporters of pesticides and their opponents.

The spread of parasites and pathogens can also contribute to the disappearance of pollinators. Previously, bees could not fly over large bodies of water, but today they are transported by people. Along with productive insects, parasites and infections spread.

The climate theme is also very popular. The disappearance of pollinators write off on cold winters. But hymenopterans have not experienced any glaciation in their history and were not going to die out. So the reasons for the disappearance of bees on the planet are very vague. Especially since they die not alone, but in the company of relatives.

When the bees disappeared

Pollinating insects began to disappear in the United States, and at first nobody bothered about this. Just think, in California in the 70s, for unknown reasons, almost half of the bee colonies suffered an extinction. But then extinction spread throughout the globe. And here the panic has already begun. After all, if the bees die out, the reproduction cycle of flowering plants will stop. And other pollinators will not help, as they are dying out together with honey bees.

The disappearance of hymenopterans was noticed only in 2006, although only in the UK since the beginning of the 20th century, 23 species of bees and wasps have already died out. And in the world, the disappearance of these insects began in the 90s of the twentieth century.

In Russia, the alarm was sounded in 2007. But for 10 years the problem of extinction has not been solved. In 2017, a record number of deaths during the wintering of the colonies was noted. In some areas, 100% of families died out, with a typical death rate of 10–40%.

Causes of mass death of bees

The reasons for the mass death of bees have not been established and all explanations of extinction are still at the level of theories. Possible causes of the extinction of bees in the world are called:

  • insecticide use;
  • cold winters;
  • the spread of pathogenic bacteria;
  • distribution of varroa mite;
  • mass infection with microsporidia Nosema apis;
  • bee colony destruction syndrome;
  • electromagnetic radiation;
  • the emergence of mobile communications in 4G format.

The study of the causes of extinction of bees is still ongoing, although the first signs of the disappearance of Hymenoptera appeared about a century ago, after the First World War. When it seems that the cause of the death of pollinators has already been found, there are data that refute the results of the study.


With the advent of relatively harmless insecticides of systemic action, they tried to lay the blame for extinction on them. Studies have confirmed that in bees poisoned by neonicotinoids, only half of the families survive the winter. But then it turned out that in California, bee colonies began to disappear in the 90s, when this type of pesticides was not common. And in Australia, the use of neonicotinoids is widespread, but bees are not going to die out. But in Australia there is no frost, no mite varroa.


In Estonia, scientists also blame pesticides for the death of apiaries, but in the cold winter of 2012–2013 and because of the late arrival of spring, 25% of families did not survive the wintering season. On some apiaries, the death was 100%. The opinion was expressed that cold affected by insecticide bees had a bad effect. But Estonian beekeepers blame "rotten" for the death of their wards.

Bacterial infection

Bacterial disease that occurs in the larvae is called rottenness or rotting. Since this is a bacterium, it is no longer possible to get rid of a pathogen if a colony is damaged. The most common European (Melissococcus plutonius) and American (Paenibacillus larvae) fowl. When infected with these bacteria, the brood seed dies, and then the entire colony gradually dies out.

Attention! In Latvia, these bacteria are already infected with 7% of the total number of all colonies.

Bacteria are sensitive to streptomycin, tetracycline group antibiotics, sulfonamides. But getting rid of the infection is completely very difficult.


There are several types of these ticks, the most dangerous of which is the Varroa destructor. It is this species that is considered the main culprit of bee panzoot and insect death. It parasitizes Chinese wax and honeybees.

It was first discovered in South Asia. As a result of trade, exchange and attempts to breed new breeds of bees spread throughout the world. Today, any apiary on the Eurasian continent is contaminated with varroa.

The female tick lays eggs in the not yet sealed cells with brood. Further, new mites parasitize on growing larvae. If only one egg was laid, the new bee will be weak and small. With two or more ticks that parasitize on one larva, the bee will be disfigured:

  • underdeveloped wings;
  • small sizes;
  • paws with defects.

The affected varroa at the bee larvae stage is not able to work. With 6 mites in the cell, the larva dies. With significant tick infestation, the colony dies out. Insect trade is one of the causes of extinction, as it contributes to the spread of varroa.


Microsporidia living in the intestines of bees, leads to indigestion and often to the death of the colony. The so-called "bad" honeycomb - a consequence of the disease bees Nosema. The main blame for the fact that the bees began to disappear in the world is not placed on it. With a strong infection with nosemogo bees die, remaining in the hive, but do not disappear in an unknown direction.

Syndrome destruction bee families

This is not a disease as such. One day, far from being a perfect day, the beekeeper discovers that bees have disappeared from the hives. All stocks and broods remain in the nest, but there are no adult individuals. What causes the bees to leave the hive, scientists still have not figured out, although the bill of disappearances has already gone on a percentage of the total number of colonies.

The causes of the syndrome are sought in the use of pesticides, tick infestation or a combination of all factors. The “tick-borne” version has certain grounds. In the wild, animals get rid of part of the parasites, changing shelters. A family strongly infected with ticks may, in fact, try to change their place of residence in order to get rid of some of the parasites. But since all the colonies are infected with ticks, it is also impossible to point out varroa as the only cause of the disappearance of the bees. In addition to the "natural" and "chemical" causes of bee extinction, there is also an "electromagnetic" theory.

Electromagnetic radiation

Another version of why bees disappear is the spread of mobile communications and towers for it. Since the hype around the mass death of bees began only in the 2000s, the conspiracy therapists immediately linked the extinction of insects with the development of mobile communications and an increase in the number of towers. It is not clear what to do with the mass death of bees in the 70s of the last century in California and the extinction of 23 species of pollinating wasps and bees on the islands of Great Britain, which began at the beginning of the last century. Indeed, at that time mobile communication was only in fiction novels. But this factor, scientists still do not exclude from the number of "suspects" in the death of bee colonies.

The format of mobile communications 4G new generation

This format of communication has not even embraced the entire globe, but it has already been made "guilty" for the death of bee colonies. The explanation is simple: the wavelength of this format coincides with the length of the body of the bee. Because of this coincidence, the bee is in resonance and dies.

The yellow press does not care about the fact that in Russia this format works only on 50% of the territory, which implies the existence of this connection only in large developed cities. The apiary in the middle of a million-plus city has nothing to do. And in deaf places suitable for honey collection, there is often no mobile connection at all.

Attention! The newest 5G format has already been made responsible for mass death. But not bees, but birds.

For some reason, no one is considering a couple of theories, which are also only theories so far: another mass extinction and the beekeepers' greed. The latter is especially relevant for Russia with its total passion for traditional medicine.

Mass extinction

Over the past 540 million years, the planet has experienced 25 mass extinctions. 5 of them were very ambitious. Not the largest, but the most famous of them is the extinction of dinosaurs. The largest extinction occurred 250 million years ago. Then 90% of all living organisms disappeared.

The most common causes of extinction are:

  • volcanic eruptions;
  • climate change;
  • meteor falling.

But none of these theories provides an answer to the question of why extinction was selective. Why dinosaurs disappeared, and more ancient crocodiles and turtles remained to live, and also what they ate and why they did not freeze. Why did the dinosaurs suffer extinction as a result of the "nuclear winter" after the fall of the meteorite, and the bees that arose 100 million years ago were left to live. After all, according to the modern theory, the death of bee colonies is also due to cold winters.

But if we assume that the mechanism of mass extinction of flora and fauna triggered some very small factor, such as a worm or an insect, then everything falls into place. Survived those species that are not dependent on this factor. But the “factor” did not die out because of human economic activity.

Many scientists have long concluded that humanity lives in the era of the next mass extinction. If today the pollinating insects are the trigger for the beginning of mass death, then the Earth will face another great extinction. And the bees disappear because they have outlived their time, and it is time to give way to new species.


Earlier, only honey and wax were taken from bees. Propolis was a by-product of beekeeping. It was obtained when old hives were cleaned from waste products of bees. Wax also received, peretaplivaya those honeycombs, from which squeezed honey.

The extinction of bees first seen in Russia strangely coincided with the craze for traditional medicine. Bee products began to be praised as a panacea for all diseases in the world. Everything went to work:

  • honey;
  • royal jelly;
  • pga;
  • drone milk.

But about propolis, after it became widely known about its origin, was forgotten.

Of all the products listed, honey is the cheapest. Perga is 4 times more expensive than the most expensive honey, and it is difficult to resist the temptation to take it from the bees. But this is the main food of the bee colony in winter. Taking it away, the beekeeper leaves the insects hungry. And, perhaps, dooms them to death.

Important! Africanized bees are not inclined to extinction, but they do not allow people to come near them and they are not threatened with death from starvation.

Drones - the necessary members of the colony. With a shortage of drones, the bees do not collect honey, but build drone cells and feed the drone brood. But the beekeeper selects the honeycomb honeycombs with almost ready males and puts them under pressure. So get "drone milk / homogenate". These are unborn drones leaked through the press holes. And working individuals are forced to re-grow the brood brood instead of collecting honey and pollen.

Royal jelly is obtained by killing the larvae of the queens. The medicinal properties of neither pollen, nor drone and royal jelly are officially proved. It is not necessary to be surprised that in such a hectic life the bees prefer to disappear into the forest and find a hollow for themselves.

Attention! There is also an unproven theory that a human species in nature is dying out.

This theory is confirmed by the disappearances in nature of the European tour (the ancestor of the cow) and tarpan (the ancestor of the domestic horse). But it is unlikely that these extinctions are directly related to domestication. Wild animals were food competitors domestic and the extermination of "savages" was engaged in man. Wild ancestors of domesticated geese and ducks do not die out, but thrive. But they have never been serious competitors to domestic livestock.

The bee is not fully domesticated, but has almost disappeared from the wild. It is most likely connected with sanitary cuttings of forest when hollow trees are destroyed.

Why do bees die in Russia

The causes of the death of bees in Russia are no different from those around the world. In other words, no one really knows anything, but they “blame” for the extinction of families:

  • chemicals;
  • climate;
  • diseases;
  • mite varroa.

In Russia, the "traditional" reasons for the death of insects can be safely added to the thirst for profit. Even if the beekeeper takes only honey, he usually takes more than you can. Then the family is fed with sugar syrup, so that it restores stocks and safely survived the winter.

But as early as the middle of the last century in the USSR, conscientious beekeepers strictly observed that workers did not eat sugar and did not drag such “honey” into the hive. Lazyak even knew how to re-educate. Eating sugar weakens insects. At first, this is imperceptible, but then "suddenly" the colony dies out.

Russian beekeepers in the extinction of bees blame neighboring farms that treat their fields with pesticides. And the beekeepers have for this reason. Russian agricultural firms often use cheap, but deadly, chemicals.

What happens if the bees disappear

There will be nothing:

  • nor 80% of plants;
  • no animals eating these plants;
  • no people.

The disappearance of pollinating insects may be the trigger that will trigger the mechanism of mass extinction. In addition to honey bees, bumblebees and wasps are dying out. They all belong to the same group. Bees and bumblebees - a private version of the wasps.

Attention! Ants are the closest relatives of the wasps.

No one has yet wondered if ants are dying out. If it turns out that all the "relatives" are dying out, then things are even worse than they seem. Mankind will lose all pollinators, not just bees. If the bees disappear, then humanity will live 4 years. On old stocks. And only those who have time to capture these stocks.

The plot for a horror movie, able to translate into reality. The following year, plants pollinated by bees will not yield a crop. People will only artificially parthenocarpic varieties of vegetables. But in self-pollinating such varieties do not give new seeds. And how to get the seeds from them, the manufacturer keeps secret.

Obtaining vegetables, even such varieties will be limited by the number of their seeds and the germination period. Extinction will overtake all the floral plants, which today could try to survive the example of the ancient ancestors. Fodder grasses that are eaten by cattle will last for several years. But a grass that does not give seeds has a short life span. The grasses will start to die out, and the cattle will follow. Life can only stay in the sea, which is almost not connected with the land and certainly does not depend on the bees.

But the sea is not enough for everyone. He is no longer enough. And no one knows if there is their own “sea bee” there, which is also dying out. One way or another, the familiar world will die if the bees die. If the world ever again the mind will appear, scientists will also guess about the reasons for this mass extinction. And no one can tell them that the reason for the death of small invisible insects.

What steps are being taken

Forecasts regarding the complete disappearance of bees vary greatly in timing. From 2035, in which the bees finally disappear, to vague "in the next century." Since the causes of extinction are unknown, the fight against the disappearance of bee colonies is carried out according to hypotheses:

  • Europe reduces pesticide use;
  • The US is trying to create micro-robots that will replace bees in the matter of pollination of plants (you can not count on honey);
  • компания Монсанто заявила, что решение проблемы вымирания пчел входит в список ее приоритетных задач, но ей не верят;
  • Российский Центр возрождения натурального пчеловодства разработал программу по возвращению пчел в дикую природу.

Since the possible reason for the extinction of bees was the thoughtless delivery of a more productive, but heat-loving southern bee to the north, today insect movement has been restricted. The breeding of local populations is encouraged. But the "clean" local subspecies of bees have almost disappeared, and measures are required to restore the number of local colonies.

The subspecies of the dark forest bee disappeared in Europe, Belarus and Ukraine. But it is still preserved in Bashkortostan, Tatarstan, Perm and Altai Territories, in the Kirov region. Bashkirian authorities have banned the importation of other populations into their territory, so that the subspecies no longer mix.

The program of returning bee colonies to nature provides for the preparation and creation of 50,000 apiaries of 10 families, where people will not take away all the honey from the families, instead of giving sugar. Colonies will be self-sufficient. Also, the bees can not be processed by chemistry. Although it is not clear how to deal with varroa in this case. The program is designed for 16 years, during which up to 70% of swarms will be released annually.

As a result of the program, about 7.5 million bee colonies will appear in the forests. It is believed that this is enough so that the bees stop dying out and begin to multiply on their own.

Bumblebee Breeding

In connection with the disappearance of the main worker in agriculture, a new branch began to develop: bumblebee farming. Bumblebee harder and harder. He is less prone to disease. It is not so depleted by parasites. But in Russia, bumblebee growing does not develop, and farmers are buying insects abroad. Mostly in Belgium. For the Russian Ministry of Agriculture the bumblebee is of no interest. Western Europe sells bumblebees for 150-200 million euros per year.

A bumblebee has only one drawback like a pollinator: it is heavier.


Bees are dying from yet unknown causes. With a high degree of probability extinction is promoted by a complex of factors that, individually, do not bring insects to death. But, overlapping each other, they lead to the extinction of bee colonies.