Bees have been known to exist on Earth for the last 40 million years. The first evident fossil of a bee was found in Europe close to 35 million years ago but it is believed that they originated in Africa and spread northwards into Europe and Asia.
Bees are considered as one of the most biodiverse species with over 16,000 variants of bees are found across the globe. Their sizes can vary and can range from as small as 2mm to 40mm in length.
Bees have been adapted by nature for feeding on nectar and pollen. Nectar acts as a source of energy and pollen provides proteins for growth. Bee pollination is important ecologically as well as commercially. There is a significant decline in the number of wild bees in the habitat due to deforestation and unsustainable development, which has increased the commercial values of bee and this, has lead to the increase in setting up of commercially managed bee hives and honey collection businesses. Beekeeping is also become an option as a professional career due to an increase in demand for beekeepers in this field of agriculture.
However recently, an incident was reported at a bee yard in Brazoria County, Texas where it is suspected that someone had deliberately set the beehives on fire which has now killed over half a million bees in the area. There are reports that the yard is still burning and bees were clinging on and trying to care for their egg until the last moment till they were killed by the fire. Nearly 20 beehives have been destroyed and each of the beehives had close to 30,000 bees contained in it. Such a merciless act carried out by humans in the 21st century which is the era of awareness and global unity to save planet Earth is a plight to hear and read such incidents. Hive vandalism is more baffling as around six months ago, incidents were reported in Iowa which killed thousands of bees.
Similar incidents like these left 200,000 bees dead in January 2018 and 500,000 bees in December 2017. The Brazoria County Crime Stoppers are offering a fancy reward of $5000 to anyone who provides clues and information about suspects. It is also asking for donations to cover its losses.
The world has seen a surprising decline in the number of honey-producing colonies which decreased from 5.9 million in 1947 to a new low of 2.44 million in 2008. Pollinators like bees are a vital part of the ecosystem of our Earth. This is of great concern to everybody and our planet’s ecosystem.