Honey Bee Decline
California Senator Barbara Boxer writes about the decline in the honey bee population, and what it means for agricultureDear Friend:
Date: 5/15/2007 12:12:08 AM ( 6 y ) ... viewed 4589 times
Bee colonies across the nation are in serious decline. This
new, unexplained condition has become known as Colony Collapse
It is estimated that about a quarter of the 2.4 million
commercial bee colonies across the nation have been lost just
since last autumn, and in some areas the loss is almost 90
percent. The impact of this loss is enormous because bees are
the primary pollinators of much of the nation’s food crops. In
California, producers of almonds, apples, alfalfa, avocados,
blueberries, citrus, tree fruit, and watermelons, among many
other crops, depend on a healthy bee population for crop
While new, preliminary evidence suggests that a fungus may be
causing or contributing to the remarkable decline in bee
populations, scientists agree that much more needs to be known
about what is killing the nation’s bees.
I recently joined with other Senators in urging Secretary of
Agriculture Michael Johanns to immediately focus his
Department’s efforts on determining the causes of Colony
Collapse Disorder and developing appropriate countermeasures to
combat it. We also asked that a plan be developed to restore
the health of the beekeeping industry in the United States.
Bees help to pollinate more than 90 commercial crops and
contribute more than $14 billion of added agricultural value
each year. Action is needed now to ensure the health of both
our bee population and the agricultural crops that we depend
United States Senator
This is an excellent resource for scientific information regarding CCD: "The Mid-Atlantic Apiculture Research and Extension Consortium (MAAREC), established in 1997, is a regional group focused on addressing the pest management crisis facing the beekeeping industry in the Mid-Atlantic Region of the United States. A task force has been established with representation from the departments of agriculture, state beekeeping organizations, and land-grant universities from each of the following states: New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
MAAREC has been researching alternatives to chemical controls and promotion of less reliance on chemical pesticides for mite control. MAAREC's Colony Collapse Disorder Working Group appears to be the de facto lead team investigating Colony Collapse Disorder." (from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colony_Collapse_Disorder_Working_Group)
read MAAREC's reports:
I recommend this excellent article, discussing various causes of the decline in commercial bee colonies. The article summarizes the findings of the scientific community as to the probable causes for CCD:
Colony Collapse Disorder (or CCD) is a poorly understood phenomenon involving the massive die-off of a beehive or bee colony. CCD is alternatively referenced as Vanishing Bee Syndrome (VBS). The cause (or causes) of the syndrome is not yet well understood and even the existence of this disorder remains disputed. Theories include environmental change-related stresses, malnutrition, unknown pathogens (i.e., disease), mites, pesticides such as neonicotinoids, emissions from cellular phones or other manmade devices, and genetically modified (GM) crops. That the disappearances have only been reported from a subset of the commercial beekeepers in affected areas (i.e., not feral colonies or "organic" beekeepers), suggests to some that beekeeping practices are a primary factor.
read more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colony_Collapse_Disorder
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