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Smitha's avatar

Are honey bees on the verge of extinction, if so will Professor Einstein's calculation prove to be true?

Asked by Smitha (5758points) January 22nd, 2014 from iPhone

Albert Einstein, once calculated that if all honey bees dissapeared off the Earth, four years later all humans would also have disappeared. Will this be true? I saw an article online where Scientists were planning to put sensors on bees to save them from extinction.

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5 Answers

funkdaddy's avatar

Honeybees aren’t near extinction, they’re just dying in large numbers, suddenly, and we don’t know why. So they’re being studied to find the cause. There are still a lot of bees and if the cause is something that can be changed, populations will be fine.

With that said… Snopes on Einstein and bees

All in all this looks like a classic case of a useful quote’s being invented and put into the mouth of a famous person for political purposes

stanleybmanly's avatar

The extinction of a species as prolific, widespread and possessing the genetic variability of the honeybee is unlikely (at least in the near term). However, the toxic load that mankind is inflicting on the planet assures that near certain catastrophe for we as a species is right around the corner. The collapse of the honeybee population is just one of an endless list of disasters confronting us. The list is so long and varied that mere random chance assures that one of them has our number.

thorninmud's avatar

Just watched an interesting documentary, More Than Honey, about the current crisis in apiculture. The situation is quite grim. In parts of China, bees are practically gone. Human workers are employed in hand pollinating food crops, an unbelievably tedious and inefficient process.

One slight bright spot, though not without its own potential problems, is that Africanized honeybees (AKA “killer bees”) appear to be relatively resistant to hive collapse. At least one intrepid beekeeper has been attempting to work with them, though they’re far harder to manage.

Smitha's avatar

@funkdaddy The main reason could be the pesticides or certain frequencies that may be effecting them unknowingly and regarding the quote, after some research online I guess Einstein’s name was falsely attributed to the quote about the bees.

@stanleybmanly The human race is not likely to become extinct just because of this reason. There are many other insects which pollinate although not as efficiently as the honeybee.

@thorninmud Even some Asian bees are resistant to mites. The Africanized honeybees could definitely help solve the population crisis.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

My beekeeper friend is convinced that it’s the pesticides being used.

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