Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Colony Collapse May Cause 60% of U.S. Bee Losses, Study Says

By Alan Bjerga

Dec. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Three-fifths of U.S. honeybee deaths may be the result of Colony Collapse Disorder, the malady of unknown cause that’s devastated hives since at least 2006, according to a study.

U.S. beekeepers lost about 36 percent of their hives between September 2007 and March, and in 60 percent of those cases, the hives were found without any bees inside, according to the study being released today by PLoS One, an online publisher of scientific research papers. Bee disappearance is a telltale sign of CCD, which may disorient bees and cause them to flee their hives before dropping dead.

The findings show how the disease is devastating U.S. beekeepers, forcing them into expensive hive replenishment, said Dennis vanEngelsdorp, an author of the study and president of the Apiary Inspectors of America, which tracks honeybee health. Left unchecked, CCD may force some beekeepers out of business and harm production of crops from almonds to zucchini, he said…

No comments: