About the Extinction CLock
A 2006 – 2016 USDA/Cornell University annual census showed that domesticated bee population is declining at a rate of 8 percent per year. In 2016, the population of domesticated honeybees stood at 2.78 million bees in the U.S.
The population quantity is decreasing exponentially if it decreases by the same percent in each unit of time t. This is called exponential decay. Exponential decay can be modeled by the equation y=C(1- r)t where C is the initial amount (2.78 million), r is the decay rate (0.08), t represents time, and where 0 < r < 1. As a result, our prediction is 50% of all native bees will be extinct by the end of the century. A quote attributed to Einstein suggested that within four years of honeybee extinction, humans will follow. So we predict that before July 11, 2144 humans will face severe food insecurity.
While a census of domesticated honeybees has been underway for many years. There currently is no accurate count of wild honeybees so the problem can actually be much worse. That is why we launched the Big Bee Count to track wild bees and help save them from extinction.