[shadow width=”580″]Carder bee sipping honey [/shadow] Carder bee sipping honey ( Bombus pascuorum)

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All species of bees along with other insects are essential to pollinate flowers and fruit trees. We rely on them for a large percentage of the food we eat in one way or another. Yet over the past few years their numbers have declined drastically. Honey bee hives have suffered dramatically and no-one seems to know the exact cause. It is thought there could be a number of reasons which together have been too much for the bees and they are dying in their millions. Varroa mites are thought to be the biggest pest to honeybees worldwide, and are believed to be the single largest contributing factor in their decline, due to their ability to transmit diseases such as Deformed Wing Virus to larval and/or pupating bees, resulting in death or severe deformity of the pupa. If this continues it will have a severe effect on our food supplies in the future and scientists are studying the problem with some urgency to try to rectify the situation.

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