‘Busy as a Bee’ Has New Meaning with Colony Collapse Disorder

| 7/18/2017 10:41:00 AM

Tags: beekeepers, colony collapse disorder, hive losses, loss of honey bees, Greg Long, Oregon,

Bees are incredibly important to building sustainable ecosystems around the world. There’s a reason the term “busy as a bee” exists – these industrious insects are wholly responsible for pollinating crops nearly everywhere humans reside. While it may seem that they are just buzzing around, minding their own business, honey bees actually pollinate one out of every three bites of food we eat with their seemingly magical abilities.

However, the humble honey bee is in danger.

The world has been seeing a dramatic decline of honey bees and their hives for a while now. The data is quite stark: between 2005 and 2013, beekeepers saw an average 30% loss of honey bee populations every single year, the Washington Post reports. But when this number is broken down, it is clear that the 30% is simply just an average. Between 2012 and 2013, the U.S. lost a staggering 45% of its honey bee colonies.

And while this number has decreased since then, it is important to note that beekeepers are still experiencing a dramatic loss of honey bees year after year. According to Bee Informed, 2014 saw a loss of 34%, 2015 and 2016 brought a 41% decrease, and even though 2017 isn’t over, the U.S. has already seen a total colony loss of 33%.

Scientists, entomologists, beekeepers, and farmers the world over are grappling with the same question: Why are the bees dying?

7/24/2017 12:39:31 PM

It's pretty complex. This is the best, concise explanation of this (and it's worth noting that French beekeepers don't talk about a 'mysterious' colony collapse disorder, instead referring to the phenomena as pesticide poisoning. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dY7iATJVCso&t=18s

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