#5: Researching the Beecline

What is the conflict?

I think that the conflict of these three articles is the decline of bees in Vermont. Not just honey bees, but also the rare rusty patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis). However, each article has different information. VPR’s article, Burlington Cuts Use of Pesticide That Harms Bees, talks about how the city of Burlington has denied the use of neonicotinoids, a popular pesticide that “studies suggest are part of the cause of declining bee populations.”

Who are the different characters / organizations / groups involved, and what are their perspectives?

The three websites that I researched came from two different organizations: Vermont Public Radio (VPR),  and VT Digger. One of the editorials from VT Digger, UVM Researcher’s Work Could Provide Salvation for Bee Species, focuses on the rare rusty patched bumble bee and what could be done to bring it back to Vermont. Later in the article, it states that “there’s convincing evidence that climate change is harming bee populations as well, so if you’re concerned about bees … do what you can to influence policy to prevent the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.” The other article from VT Digger, UVM Scientists Fight Bee Declines, is mainly about what UVM has contributed to solving the decline of bees.

What unites people? What divides people?

All of the people and groups involved in the issue I am researching have different theories and solutions about why the bees are dying. I believe this is something that brings them together. One thing that divides people is that they blame some in the farming industry for using pesticides that harm bees.

What are your most pressing questions?

I am curious about what are the actual causes for the decline of the bees. All of the theories explain this in different ways and I want to know the actual cause.

Masterson, Kathleen. “Burlington Cuts Use of Pesticide That Harms Bees.” Vermont Public Radio. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Oct. 2016.

@vtdigger. “UVM Scientists Fight Bee Declines | VTDigger.” VTDigger. N.p., 16 Mar. 2016. Web. 09 Oct. 2016.

@Mike_VTD. “UVM Researcher’s Work Could Provide Salvation for Bee Species | VTDigger.” VTDigger. N.p., 26 Sept. 2016. Web. 09 Oct. 2016.


Featured image courtesy of Caleb Kimbrough




Zachariah Burrows

3 Responses to “#5: Researching the Beecline

  • Hey Zachariah! Last I knew, you were struggling a little to come up with a topic so I’m glad to see you’ve found one, and a really important one at that. The declining bee population is a really big deal. Just recently, bees made it onto the endangered species list, which is a huge, unfortunate development, not just for them, but for us. As part of your project, you’re going to want to spread information about how the extinction of bees will affect us negatively, because people either don’t know or don’t care, believing it doesn’t apply to them.

    From what you said about your sources, it seems that no one is opposing the idea that we have to save the bees…? No one is denying that this is a real and important thing, but they all have different ideas about what’s causing it and how to deal with it. It will be up to you to gather as much information as you can, and decide which trail you want to follow. This is a really important project and I think you can have great success. From what I can tell, you’re on the right track!

  • Hey Zachariah,

    I’m glad you have found a topic that you are passionate about. I don’t know much about the decline in bee population, but I know the problem has exploded a lot recently (correct me if I’m wrong). I also agree with you, I would like to know the real cause of the decline in bee population. This is very interesting. I also agree with Anna on this. I think one of the best ways to advocate this issue, is to do just that. Advocate the bees, and tell people why people should care about the decline in bee population, and how it would impact communities all around.

    And since there are multiple reasons that bees or going extinct, you have a good bit to work with. You could tell people about how neonicotinoids are killing bees, or you could tell people about how climate change is effecting the bees (and us as well).

    Good job! Keep it up Zachariah!


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