Over the last ten years, bees have been disappearing from their hives due to what is known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). 2012 was a terrible year for some of the U.S. bee keepers losing 40 – 50% of their bees!
– Colony collapse disorder
Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) was first reported in 2006 by beekeepers who began encountering high colony losses where the adult honeybees or worker bees, simply disappeared from the hives, almost all at the same time with as many as 50% of colonies affected. There were few, if any, dead bees found in or around the hives. The queen and younger bees were often found in the hives with plenty of food and a few remaining nurse bees to care for them. But hives cannot sustain themselves without worker bees and would eventually die. This combination of events resulting in the loss of a bee colony has been called Colony Collapse Disorder.
Many scientists are trying to figure out what is causing this problem. So far they have a few main factors…
One is pesticides. Pesticides are chemicals that farmers use to help grow their crops. While the research is happening, the European Union (EU) in April 2013 passed a new law banning pesticides that could be responsible for the loss of bees. This is a positive step towards regaining control of the decrease in the honey bees, hopefully resulting in more to come.
Bees are also suffering from the loss of wildflower habitat, rapidly spreading diseases, and climate change. As a result, our hardworking pollinators are stressed out and even more sensitive to pesticide poisoning, also endangering the world food supply.