What is Bee Colony Collapse Disorder?

starofbethlehem_bee_b_DaveLeikerColony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is the name for the syndrome in which a honeybee hive’s worker bees inexplicably disappear.

Although noted before by beekeepers throughout history, it’s the dramatic increase in colony collapse worldwide that is worrying scientists, and farmers. Farmers rely on bees to pollinate 80% of the world’s food crops.

Bee colonies have many viruses and parasites, and science is looking into them to find a cause for CCD. A team of scientists including some from Penn State, has found a correlation between CCD and the virus found in bees known as Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (IVAP). IVAP symptoms include shivering wings and paralysis and death in bees. IVAP was prevalent in effected colonies, and may be a marker for bees at risk.

Bee colony collapse effected 23% of all beekeeping operations in the US over the 2006-07 winter.

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