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Amazon Rainforest

The Amazon Rainforest fire may present many adverse implications beyond climate change and the poor health of citizens in regions nearby. The Amazon Rainforest is home for a significant amount of wild honeybee colonies as it houses 10% of the world’s biodiversity according to Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. The honeybees are significant to our environmental and economic sustainability due to the pollination they provide. The EPA highlighted that honeybees have been experiencing a serious plight since 2008. We have an estimated inventory on managed bees, but there are countless bees in the wild. Wild honeybees often make their homes in the cavities of tree logs which are most commonly found in forested areas.

Brazil Pesticide Usage

The bees that forage in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela are alleged to be adversely impacted by the current wildfire. Brazil has already experienced a major negative impact on their honeybee population after reducing pesticide regulations. Brazil experienced an estimated loss of 500,000 beehives within three months of its new lax pesticide policies. The lack of honeybees poses a threat to plant production within the regions surrounding the Amazon Rainforest and the local economies. Brazil’s pesticide usage could potentially have a larger negative impact on the honeybees than the current wildfire. In fact, wildfires may entice many wild bees. Several studies have demonstrated that honeybees are attracted to areas impacted by wildfires.

Wildfires Attract Bees?

Nuland et. al; investigated how “fire affects resource structure and how that variation influences floral pollinator communities by comparing burn versus control treatments in a southeastern USA old-field system”. The results of their study indicate “fire regime can indirectly impact floral visitation, suggesting its usefulness as a tool for the management of pollination services”. A study by Oregon State University on Wild bee diversity increases with local fire severity in a fire‐prone landscape found that “there were both abundant bee communities and abundant bee habitat in severely burned regions”. Although the Amazon Wildfires are largely destructive, in the case of the honeybees the wildfires may actually have a positive impact; the impact is dependent on how we as human beings respond to their management.

What Action is Being Taken

World leaders are currently scrambling to plan for interventions, but protective measures need to be taken now to minimize damages.

This article was written by Sade Shofidiya. Sade Shofidiya is a beekeeper and the Founder and C.E.O. of Foster Beelief. Foster Beelief is a honeybee charity that Fosters awareness for the honeybees, provides education on their plight, and organizes action for their future.

Learn more about honeybees at Foster Beelief!


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