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article imageWhere did all of the adults go?

By melodicdream     Apr 27, 2007 in Environment
No one knows where the adults have gone. They've just upped and disappeared. No corpses left behind, and nothing seems to be out of the ordinary. It seems as if it was an episode of CSI. But no, this is about our bees.
No one seems to know what's going on. This mysterious phenonmenon called the Colony Collapse Disorder seems to be affecting thousands of bee hives have been affected all across the United States and this may soon affect Canada.
This problem has had the researchers baffled. All of the adult bees will suddenly disappear without a trace and leave a couple of juveniles behind. The hive appears unaffected, just deserted and the remaining juvenile bees refuse to eat the stores of honey and pollen left behind. Another mysterious point is that the other bee colonies avoid the abandoned hive - even though healthy colonies usually raid the deserted hives for the leftovers.
The Bee populations are in serious trouble, suffering losses from mites, pesticides and monoculture crops. In less than a decade, about 5 different species of bees have disappeared. From what researchers have found out so far, stress is probably the key to this disaster. The dirth of natural pollinators in the United States has led to a growing industry of migrant domesticated bees. Every spring, bees are packed into their hives and driven across America, making various stops at farms to pollinate crops.
Bees are used to having a variety of food in their diets, but on these trips, they are stuck with a single food source – the crop they are expected to pollinate. They are packed into their hives for long periods of time, with temperature fluctuations and high levels of carbon dioxide. This kind of large-scale movement of stressed-out insects are the perfect conditions for the spread of pathogens.
Honeybees are very important for the future of our health. For, obviously the honey and also for being such effectiv pollinators. In America, they pollinate over $3 billion worth of fruits and vegetables every year. About 30 percent of all American fruits and vegetables are being polinated by the bees.
If we want to ensure that this essential service is available in the future, we need to look at all the factors resulting in their declining numbers – from pesticide use, to monoculture crops and genetically modified crops, to the loss of forested areas that provide homes for wild bees, and work to reduce these pressures and keep this critical ecosystem service functioning.
I was wondering why the honey prices were going up over the past couple of years. I guess this is why!
More about Suzuki, Bees, Phenomenon
 
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