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From research that is available, it was found that honey bees are not directly affected by climate change, as they are a relatively well-adapted species, however, an indirect effect may cause them harm. Apis mellifera shows great adaptive potential, as it is found in several parts of the world with drastically different climates (Le Conte & Navajas, 2008). Apis mellifera sahariensisis a species found in the Sahara, where it has adapted to local bloom (such as palm flowers) and extreme heat (Le Conte & Navajas, 2008). It is suggested that with increasing climate, the species will be able to adapt new developmental cycles suited to new environmental conditions (Le Conte & Navajas, 2008). As honey bees already have great genetic variability, they may also adapt to a new array of predators, parasites and pathogens (Le Conte & Navajas, 2008). Despite the fact that bees may be able to adapt well to new environments, food shortages may cause a further decline in the population of honey bees. Climate change is expected to influence flower development and nectar and pollen production, which affects bee foraging activity and development (Le Conte & Navajas, 2008). For instance, acacia flowers are not attractive to bees after rain, and lavender flowers do not produce nectar when the weather is too dry. Honeydew, is produced by plants to attract bees, and with increasing temperatures, it is proven that there is a decrease in production. Although there may not be direct negative impacts of climate change on honey bees, climate change willaffect several other biological factors in the ecosystem which in turn, may have detrimental effects on not just honey bees but many other pollinators. Hello Hannah!I loved reading your discussion post! It was incredibly informative and clear. As you have stated, there needs to be a greater effort in conservation. It is clear that honey bees play an incredibly crucial role in not only our environment, but also for our food, fuel, cotton, and even economy. The larger issues that
cause danger to pollinators is habitat loss, climate change, pesticides, introduction of invasive species and diseases and parasites. With the loss of habitats, many natural spaces that contain foraging sites and nesting sites are also lost(Rathcke & Jules, 1999). Climate change can change distributions of pollinators and flowering plants causing a displacement in ecosystem dynamics (Vanbergen et al., 2013). One of the leading causes of pollinator decline are harmful pesticides that can negatively affect reproduction, navigation, learning, food collection, reproduction and resistance to disease (Protect Pollinators | Ontario Nature | Nature Conservation in Ontario, n.d.). Invasive species being introduced to the honey bees natural habitat can create a competitive edge, and begin to overtake niches (Pollinators: the Ultimate Providers - The Honeybee ConservancyThe Honeybee Conservancy, n.d.). Additionally, a combination of the all of the previously addressed factors can lead to an increased spread of non-native parasites and diseases that the population may not be able to fight off. The largest known parasite for the honey bees are varrora