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Untangling the Roots of Colony Collapse Disorder

"A microscopic pathogen and pesticides embedded in old honeycombs are two major contributors to the bee disease known as colony collapse disorder, which has wiped out thousands of beehives throughout the United States and Europe over the past three years, new research at Washington State University has confirmed."

Many researchers are investigating colony collapse disorder because domestic honeybees are essential for a variety of agricultural crops in the United States. Beekeepers truck their hives cross country to pollinate almond groves in California, field crops and forages in the Midwest, apples and blueberries in the Northeast and citrus in Florida.

Unlike other diseases that have plagued bees in the past, colony collapse disorder does not kill bees within the hive. It leaves a hive with a few newly hatched adults, a queen and plenty of food. "

The researchers at WSU suggest an easy method beekeepers can use to help prevent the disorder.

"One easy solution is for beekeepers to change honeycombs more often. In Europe, for example, apiarists change combs every three years.

"In the U.S., we haven't emphasized this practice and there's no real consensus about how often beekeepers should make the change," said Steve Sheppard, entomology professor at WSU's Agricultural Research Center. "Now we know that it needs to be more often."

Please click "source" to read more about the interesting research by WSU as reported by the Environmental News Service.

(By the way, the Discovery Channel is currently airing an interesting documentary on CCD)
 
 

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