Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Written by Nathan Clendenin for UNC Health Care
Have you ever been stung by a bee? Did it hurt? I'd be willing to bet that avoiding stings is about the only thought you've had about bees, unless it was about honey! If you're like Dr. Jonathan Kirsch, a hospitalist at UNC Health Care, you'd also be interested in bees pollinating the fruit trees in your yard! If you talked to him about his bees, you'd likely become fascinated, as I did, at how bees work in their hive to produce honey, defend the hive, repair it, take care of the baby bees and everything else to ensure they can survive a cold winter. It's an amazing social organism to learn about, and an even more amazing one to see first hand.
While we didn't have a chance to talk about it in the video, Dr. Kirsch shared with me that bees have recently been dying off in large numbers. This is a big deal because bees are the No. 1 pollinators of all the fruits and vegetables we consume in the United States. Without them, our food wouldn't reproduce! Nobody is exactly sure why this is happening, but in Europe they just recently banned a certain pesticide that is believe to be one of the causes. If they see a change in bee population in the next two years while the ban is in effect, then they'll know it was causing it. For more in-depth information about this, check out this article.
Check out this episode of real doctors, real people!