The Disappearing Honeybee Reading
For low intermediate learners
Do you run away when you hear a bee buzzing? Many people do. A bee sting hurts and some people are allergic to bee venom. But did you know that bees are very important to humans? Honeybees do more than just make honey. They fly around and pollinate flowers, plants, and trees. Our fruits, nuts, and vegetables rely on these pollinators. One third of America's food supply is pollinated by the honeybee.
Have you seen or heard a honeybee lately? Bees are mysteriously disappearing in many parts of the world. Most people don't know about this problem. It is called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Some North American beekeepers lost 80% of their hives from 2006-2008. Bees in Italy and Australia are disappearing too.
The disappearance of the honeybee is a serious problem. Can you imagine never eating another blueberry? What about almonds and cherries? Without honeybees food prices will skyrocket. The poorest people always suffer the worst when there is a lack of food.
This problem affects other foods besides fresh produce. Imagine losing your favourite ice cream! Haagen Daaz is a famous ice cream company. Many of their flavours rely on the hard working honey bee. In 2008 Haagen Daaz began raising money for CCD. They also created a website called helpthehoneybee.com.
Donating money to research is the most important thing humans can do to save the honeybees. Scientists need money to investigate the causes of Colony Collapse Disorder. Some scientists blame CCD on climate change. Others think pesticides are killing the bees. Commercial bee migration may also cause CCD. Beekeepers transport their hives from place to place in order to pollinate plants year round.
Not everyone has money to donate regularly. There are other ways to help the honeybee. Spread the word, by telling your friends and family about the problem. Tell your teacher about the disappearing bees too. Maybe your class can write a letter to the government.