Viewpoint: ‘Bee-pocalypse’—one of the 2010s biggest overblown moral panics

bees
Credit: iStock

Human beings are anxious creatures. We worry about things that might kill us. We worry about things that might kill our children.

Before the 2020s start tossing us a new set of worries, it would be useful to reflect on the last batch of folk demons that we were frightened of and then forgot about.

For a few years in the early part of the decade, things looked dire for the humble honeybee and all the agricultural products that depended on it for pollination. A rise in the number of beehives mysteriously dying off—a phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder—sparked a series of apocalyptic headlines.

Publications warned of a “bee-pocalypse” or a “beemageddon.”

Related article:  Pesticide-focused Save America’s Pollinators Act overlooks primary threats to bees and other pollinators

From our vantage point at the end of the decade, this all looks overblown. As Shawn Regan noted in a 2017 issue of Reason, the actual number of honeybee colonies continued to grow despite the increased bee mortality rate ….

The picture looks pretty similar today. One study published this past July found that Colony Collapse Disorder “has not had measurable effects on honey production, input prices, or even numbers of bee colonies.” Makes you wonder what all the buzz was about.

Read full, original article: Tide Pods, Nazis, and Bees: The Top 10 Moral Panics of the 2010s

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