Critical Analysis of a Visual Media Source: “TIME Explains: Why Bees Are Going Extinct”
The bees are dying and we're to blame. TIME's Bryan Walsh explains colony collapse disorder, and why bees are on the…content.time.com
This Visual Media Source, “TIME Explains: Why Bees Are Going Extinct” was reported by Bryan Walsh, Senior Editor for TIME International, produced by Jim Fields, and edited by Madeleine May. The video was posted on the TIME website in 2016 with the caption, “The bees are dying and we’re to blame. TIME’s Bryan Walsh explains colony collapse disorder, and why bees are on the verge of extinction”. The video is a reliable source because TIME is a prestigious magazine and is internationally recognized. To summarize: the video quite simply talks about why the bees are going extinct.
The video opens with an alleged quote from Albert Einstein, “If bees disappeared from the face of the Earth, mankind would only have four years left to live”. Then it goes on to discuss the causes of bee extinction, with the first being Colony Collapse Disorder. Colony Collapse Disorder has been happening over the past decade. It refers to hives suddenly dying and bees fleeing the hives for reasons no one understands. We lost 43% of bee colonies over the past year. This is important because bees and pollination are a key component of agriculture.
Then the video goes on to list more specific causes. One of those were pesticides. Not just any pesticides, but a new class of chemicals called Neonicotinoids that have a negative impact on bee nervous systems. Because of these chemicals, they have navigation problems, they have flying problems, and it kills them in large numbers. Another cause was parasites. One in particular was mentioned, called the Varroa Mite. These parasites attack the beehives themselves. The Varroa Mite has been around for about twenty years and has probably been the biggest single cause of bee loss in that time. Another issue is that the bees are running out of nutrition. They depend on wild spaces to pollinate in order to gather pollen for their hives. Many issues contribute to habitat loss but the video focused on agriculture. Farmers have been using the bee’s habitats to plant crops.
The video then ended with Bryan saying, “If the bees really do disappear, it’s not likely that mankind will follow them in four years, but certainly our dinners will become a lot less colorful and varied. This was the only part of the video that I didn’t necessarily agree with. Yes, humans can survive without bees, but the planet can’t. Without pollinators, the environment will be much worse than it already is. And with the food issues, there’s a lot more at stake than just how colorful our food plates will be. One in three bites of our food is bee pollinated, the pollinate seventy of the top hundred crops. Most of the beta-cryptoxanthin, calcium, cartenoids, fluoride, iron, lipids, lycopene, and Vitamin A, C, and E consumed comes from crops that have to have pollinators. Without these nutrients, our bodies would be a mess. We desperately need bees, so we must work to reduce their habitat loss and prevent them from going extinct.