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