Why Industrial Agriculture Puts Honey Bees in Peril
By Maggie Shanahan
Industrial agriculture is at the root of many honey bee health problems, but the research community seldom calls attention to this fact. Honey bee researchers often discuss the stressors that contribute to colony loss, but we rarely talk about where those stressors come from. This is a problem because we cannot resolve honey bee health issues unless we confront the systems that cause them harm.
In the video above, I provide an audio-visual adaptation of an article I published in the open-access Journal of Insect Science this week that unpacks the relationship between honey bee health and industrial agriculture. The article is part of a special collection featuring research in the United States on fundamental and applied aspects of honey bee biology, published in collaboration with the American Association of Professional Apiculturists.
In the article, I explore steps that researchers can take to account for the harms of industrial agriculture and discuss the uncomfortable questions that surface when we confront this toxic system. The goal of this article and accompanying video is to encourage conversation within the honey bee research community around the impacts of industrial agriculture, so that we can fully engage in the transformative change needed to support honey bee health.
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Journal of Insect Science