Bees Are Dying At An Alarming Rate

Bees Are Dying at an Alarming Rate is an expression often used as a non-sequitur image caption on Twitter in reference to news stories regarding drastically declining honey bee populations around the world.

Origin

On February 217th, 2007, The New York Times[10] published an article titled “Honeybees Vanish, Leaving Keeper in Peril,” which reported that bees were “disappearing inexplicably at an alarming rate” across the United States. In November 2013, the Journal of Natural and Environmental Sciences published an article titled “Pollinator Decline: US Agro-Socio-Economic Impacts and Responses,” revealing that Western honey bee colonies decreased from 6,000,000 to 3,000,000 from 1945 to 2005.[8] On December 26th, 2015, Twitter user @SlimiHendrix[12] tweeted photographs of himself smiling and frowning while covered in stuffed animals with the caption “When you’re having fun but then remember that bees are dying globally at an alarming rate” (shown below). Within two years, the tweet gained over 7,300 likes and 6,000 retweets.

Spread

On February 7th, 2016, Twitter user @therealbanksy[6] posted a joke about Eli Manning’s facial expression in the Super Bowl 50. The Tweet went on tho recieved 14,000 retweets and 21,000 likes.[1]

when ur brother wins the super bowl but then u remember that bees are dying globally at an alarming rate https://t.co/iXdyWCQ63F

On May 18th, 2016, NY Mag[2] published an article about the use of the expression on social media. On May 27th, Twitter user @LognRoo[11] posted a Chris Christie’s face GIF along with a joke about realizing “bees are dying globally at an alarming rate” (shown below, left). On June 21st, Twitter user @beJULLed posted a close up photograph of a teenage dancer captioned with a “bees are dying at an alarming rate” joke (shown below, right).

On November 16th, Redditor VanillaSkyHawk uploaded a OK Bye Mom image macro titled “Bees are dying at an alarming rate” (shown below). Within four months, the post gained over 1,000 points (98% upvoted) on /r/dankmemes.[7] On February 21st, 2017, the Vice music blog Noisey[5] published an article titled “Are Bees Juggalos?

Bees Are Dying At An Alarming Rate