New Bee Death Stats in US Bring Colony Collapse Disorder Back Into Spotlight


photo: pizzodisevo via flickr.

As if we didn't have enough to worry about right now... The Guardian reports on some new stats on honeybee deaths in the United States that are pretty disturbing. According to an annual survey by the Apiary Inspectors of America, the number of managed honeybee colonies that survived this past winter fell by 33.8%. That's the fourth year in a row where more than one-third of honeybee colonies died.WATCH VIDEO: Nature Inc. Shorts - We Needs the Bees

As to the cause of colony collapse disorder, no one cause has been yet singled out, but rampant pesticide use is emerging as a leading culprit:

US scientists have found 121 different pesticides in samples of bees, wax and pollen, lending credence to the notion that pesticides are a key problem. "We believe that some subtle interactions between nutrition, pesticide exposure and other stressors are converging to kill colonies," said Jeffery Pettis, of the [Agricultural Research Service's] bee research laboratory.

Adding to that, a global review of honeybee deaths recently cited "irresponsible use" of pesticides as damaging bee health, making them more susceptible to disease.

Read more: Fear for crops as shock figures from America show scale of bee catastrophe
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More on Colony Collapse Disorder:
Bees Rejoice: One Potential Cause of Colony Collapse Disorder Identified
Bayer in the Dock Over Pesticide Linked to Colony Collapse Disorder
Bees Equipped With Microchips Help Explain Hive Declines

Tags: Agriculture | Colony Collapse Disorder | United States

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