Colony Collapse Disorder: How to Encourage Pollinators
by Sandrine Bédard on November 9, 2017 - 10:52am
A. Choose an urban environmental issue in your community
The issue chosen is the colony collapse disorder (CCD) in pollinators, more precisely, bees.
B. Justify your choice through describing its impact
The cause of CCD remains largely unknown to scientists. However, they suspect parasites that infiltrate the hives (especially the bloodsucking Varroa mite), certain pesticides, infections and air pollution from cars and trucks. Loosing honeybees means more than just a world without honey. In fact, ‘’at least 80 percent of our world’s crop plant species require pollination’’ (US Fed News Service 1). These insects play a major role in producing all kinds of foods, including berries, apples, almonds, melons, kiwis, cashews and cucumbers (Alison 1). It is the entire food system that is in peril with the massive die-offs of bees documented in the recent years. In that context, we believe that people should be aware of how beneficial pollinators are to our every day life and what can be done to help support these pollinators.
C. Propose a realistic policy solution to the problem
We plan to solve the problem both through local management and government regulation (bottom up and top down strategy). First, we will build a bee house to show the political representatives our engagement in solving this issue. Nest sites are important because ‘’the further the pollinator must travel, the more nutrients the pollinator uses’’ (US Fed Services News 1). In those conditions, it is less likely to survive to parasites and infections. Secondly, we will write a letter to the mayor of the city of Saint-Amable and urge him to put measures in place to make the city a friendlier environment for pollinators. These measures will include, for example, the ban or reduction of pesticides like neonicotinoids. In June 2014, a group of 29 independent scientists compiled over 800 peer-reviewed studies and confirmed that there is a casual link between the use of these pesticides and the population decline of domesticated and wild bees (Levy 9). As of December 2015, the city of Montreal banned all neonicotinoids, without exceptions, on all properties within the city’s limits. We would like the city of Saint-Amable to join Montreal with this initiative.
Alison, P. S. (2014, Jan 10). Why are bees vanishing? Science News for Students, Retrieved from https://proquest-crc.proxy.ccsr.qc.ca/docview/1508816024?accountid=44391
POLLINATORS ESSENTIAL TO LIFE. (2009, Jul 02). US Fed News Service, Including US State News Retrieved from https://proquest-crc.proxy.ccsr.qc.ca/docview/471439747?accountid=44391
Levy, A. (2014, Jul). To bee or not to bee? Canadian Dimension, 48, 9-9,4. Retrieved from https://proquest-crc.proxy.ccsr.qc.ca/docview/1564038344?accountid=44391