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What's all the buzz about?

by David Kuharski

Squeamish around bees?  Me too, but our little yellow and black-striped friends find themselves in the cross-hairs of Mother Nature.  And the result could hit both of us in the wallet.  For several years now beekeepers have been telling us about unusual high losses of their hives.  In this article the U-S EPA talks about Colony Collapse Disorder.  http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/about/intheworks/honeybee.htm

FROM The EPAWhy it's happening

There have been many theories about the cause of CCD, but the researchers who are leading the effort to find out why are now focused on these factors:

  • increased losses due to the invasive varroa mite (a pest of honeybees);
  • new or emerging diseases such as Israeli Acute Paralysis virus and the gut parasite Nosema;
  • pesticide poisoning through exposure to pesticides applied to crops or for in-hive insect or mite control;
  • bee management stress;
  • foraging habitat modification
  • inadequate forage/poor nutrition and
  • potential immune-suppressing stress on bees caused by one or a combination of factors identified above.

Additional factors may include poor nutrition, drought, and migratory stress brought about by the increased need to move bee colonies long distances to provide pollination services.

So, why will we pay more?  Check out this article in The Wall Street Journal...