Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Save The Bees

Photo Courtesy: ModernFarmer.com

Photo Courtesy: ModernFarmer.com

Luis Gutierrez, Life Style Editor

Are you a coffee lover? If so, this may be some bad news for you. A research team modeled in Latin America studied the area specifically where coffee is grown and found it could be problematic in the future for coffee and bees. The research was conducted under several global warming scenarios

“The team consisted of experts from the Smithsonian in Panama; the International Center for Tropical Agriculture in Vietnam; the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center in Costa Rica; Conservation International and the University of Vermont in the U.S.; CIRAD in France; and CIFOR in Peru,” reports ScienceDaily.com 

With all the different scenes played out, only about five species of bees survived in coffee suitable areas. 

Since huge chunks of land are no longer suitable for coffee, it forced experts to look for alternatives by switching crops or production systems where bees are predicted to have a decrease in. Some of the strategies may help increase bee habitats as well as help to keep native bees around. 

Although intense studies were factored, one thing they did not think about was Africanized Honey Bees. The species was accidentally released in Brazil in 1957, and natives believed they would destroy anything in their sight and damage the ecosystem. But they were wrong – Africanized Honey Bees worked just as hard fertilizing the local plants, which made more pollen and nature to the native bees.

“Africanized honey bees in the Western Hemisphere both regulate their nest temperature and their own body temperature using water,” states David Roubik, an entomologist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. “When the climate is hotter — unless it’s too dry — they’re better adapted to endure climate change and pollinate coffee — an African plant.”

Even with climate change making it harder to produce coffee, it still very well may be possible for coffee producers to continue to make coffee.

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Save The Bees