Bees no better off.
October 9, 2009 8:06 AM Subscribe
A new genomic study
posted by paulsc (30 comments total)
8 users marked this as a favorite
posits at least a reliable genetic marker
for honey bees subject to Colony Collapse Disorder
.Reports this past spring from Spain of a possible cure for CCD
on MeFi) haven't stemmed U.S. beekeeper losses, and a recent NYT article
summarizing the work of U.S. experts working on the problem cites a number of related causes, including mites, viruses and common pesticides
, as possible factors in the process of weakening hives that later suffer CCD. Regionally, long periods of wet weather this spring and summer have reduced normal honey production
, leading to many hives in New York and New England having insufficient food for over wintering. On top of surveyed losses from 2006, 2007 and 2008 published this spring
, 2009 losses will likely further raise the cost and decrease the availability of commercial bee operator's mobile crop pollination services in 2010, leading eventually to higher food costs.
"... The Apiary Inspectors of America (AIA) and USDA-ARS Beltsville Honey Bee Lab conducted a survey between September 2008 and early April 2009 to estimate colony losses across the country. Over 20% of the country’s estimated 2.3 million colonies were surveyed. A total loss of 28.6% of managed honey bee colonies was recorded. This compares to losses of 35.8% and 31.8% recorded respectively in the winters of 2007/2008 and 2006/2007. While a decrease in total losses is encouraging, the rate of loss remains unsustainable as the average operational loss increased from 31% in 2007/2008 to 34.2% in the 2008/2009 winter. ..."