It seems the honey bee is fighting a losing battle these days, and the future for this important ecological regulator is now looking grimmer. In addition to colony collapse disorder and disease, scientists have discovered a third element in what is now a trifecta of death for honey bee populations: agricultural chemicals, especially fungicides, are suppressing the immune systems of honey bees, causing a diminished response to the effects of deadly parasite.
Honey bees pollinate flowers that ultimately fruit and turn out seeds. Honey bees have their honey harvested from man-made beehives, while farmers either rent or raise their own colonies increase crops yields through more adequate pollination. In the winter of 2012-2013, commercial beekeepers lost 31 percent of their colonies – double what is considered “acceptable” by industry standards.