The mysterious disappearance of bees: A TED-Ed Lesson and a TED Talk pairing

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In the past decade, the world’s honeybee population has been decreasing at an alarming and unprecedented rate. While this is obviously bad news for honey-lovers everywhere, the disappearance of bees has a larger effect. Bees help feed the world’s population in a bigger way — by pollinating our crops. In this TED-Ed blog series, we pair short, informative TED-Ed Lessons with longer, more in-depth TED Talks on the same subject. Today we ask the question: What’s happening to our world’s bees?

To get primed on this issue, check out this four-minute TED-Ed Lesson The case of the vanishing honeybees, in which Emma Bryce investigates potential causes for the sudden and widespread colony collapse disorder of honeybees in the United States.

Interested in learning more? In this enlightening TED Talk, Marla Spivak elaborates further on the reasons that are causing colonies to start dying en masse, and offers some simple solutions that everyone can take to help. Additionally, she asks a difficult question: Could this incredible species be holding up a mirror for us?

For more lessons about bees, check out The human and the honeybee, The hidden beauty of pollination, and Every city needs healthy honeybees.


  1. r miller

    G.M.O. ‘s are the killers. Honey bees and human’s are the victims.

  2. Elaine McAlister

    More cities should plant greenwalls, like in Sydney, Australia. Cities have become more and more of a dead zone as more and more people live in flats and high rise apartment buildings.

  3. Robert G Garnham

    Should planting flowers everywhere we can be an answer; we can enjoy not just the beauty of it but move to research benefits hitherto unknown of flowers. (Many are herbs with known properties.) So planting for the bees would be giving us a lot back!

  4. Kim Preshoff

    I love this TED lesson! I will be using it in my Environmental classes. Here are two books about bees that might interest students:
    A Sting in the Tale: My Adventures with Bumblebees by Dave Goulson and The Bees: A Novel by Laline Paull

  5. been a while visited ted blog. Its really amazing to watch videos with so much knowledge explained in a simple way. i have become the fan of Ted talk. its always astonishing experience to me when i learn always new form Ted talk.
    I thank the whole community who is behind it. These are truly the great ideas worth sharing for.

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