Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 2.38.23 PM

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.