Colony Collapse Disorder Arrives in the UK

British beekeepers are seeing an alarming amount of a disease that is wiping out 50%-75% of some hives in the US and Europe. The condition has been called Colony Collapse Disorder, and DEFRA have described the symptoms as "the total collapse of bee colonies, with a complete absence of bees or only a few remaining in the hive".

The disease has been a growing problem in the US and Europe, but until now has not been seen in the UK. Contrary to the claims of keepers, Defra claim that "there is no evidence in the UK right now of colony collapse disorder."

Although the causes are unknown, there are many theories, including environmental stress, malnutrition, antibiotic use, pesticides and GM crops. Although the loss of hives is tragic for keepers, the implications for farmers and consumers could also be considerable. Bees are currently used to pollinate crops, and a large reduction in the population could cause crops to fail. ::Guardian

Tags: Bees | Insects

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