Bee Colony Collapse Disorder & Estimated US Bee Hive Population Chart

May 30th, 2013 at 12:36

The following is the historical chart of US bee hive estimated population from 1947 to present according to Wikipedia:


Colony collapse disorder (CCD) is a phenomenon in which worker bees from abeehive or European honey bee colony abruptly disappear. While such disappearances have occurred throughout the history of apiculture, and were known by various names (disappearing diseasespring dwindleMay diseaseautumn collapse, and fall dwindle disease),[1] the syndrome was renamed colony collapse disorder in late 2006[2] in conjunction with a drastic rise in the number of disappearances of Western honeybee colonies in North America.[3] European beekeepers observed similar phenomena in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain,[4] and initial reports have also come in from Switzerland and Germany, albeit to a lesser degree[5]while the Northern Ireland Assembly received reports of a decline greater than 50%.[6]

The growth in the use of neonicotinoid pesticides such as acetamipridclothianidin andimidacloprid, some of the most widely-used pesticides in the world, has roughly tracked rising bee deaths since 2005.[7] In 2012, several peer reviewed independent studies were published showing that neonicotinoids had previously undetected routes of exposure affecting bees including through dust, pollen, and nectar;[8] that sub-nanogram toxicity resulted in failure to return to the hive without immediate lethality,[9] the primary symptom of CCD,[10] and indicating environmental persistence of neonicotinoids in irrigation channels and soil.[11] These studies prompted a formal 2013 peer review by the European Food Safety Authority that said neonicotinoids pose an unacceptably high risk to bees, and that the industry-sponsored science upon which regulatory agencies’ claims of safety have relied is flawed.[12] CCD is probably compounded by a combination of factors.[13][14][15][16] In 2007, some authorities attributed the problem to biotic factors such as Varroa mites,[17] Nosema apis parasites, and Israel acute paralysis virus.[18][19] Other contributing factors may include environmental change-related stress,[20] malnutrition, and migratory beekeeping. Another study in 2012 also pointed to multiple causes, listing pesticides behind the varroa mite, genetics, habitat loss, and poor nutrition.[21]

Colony collapse is significant economically because many agricultural crops worldwide are pollinated by European honey bees. In April 2013, the European Union announced plans to restrict the use of certain pesticides to stop bee populations from declining further[22] and by the end of the month passed legislation which banned the use of several neonicotinoids for the following two years.[23] Shortages of bees in the US have increased the cost to farmers of renting them for pollination services by up to 20%.[7]


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