Bee Losses May Have Single Cause

More than three-fifths of U.S. honeybee losses may be the result of Colony Collapse Disorder.

The mystery of the missing bees continues with word that Colony Collapse Disorder could be responsible for most bee deaths. According to a Bloomberg report this week, U.S. beekeepers lost about 36% of their hives between September 2007 and March 2008. Of those losses 60% were found without bees inside, a key symptom of CCD. That information was released by PLoS One, an online publisher of research papers.

The disease is devastating the U.S. bee industry, forcing expensive hive replenishment activities. Left unchecked, CCD could impact production of a wide range of crops.

The new study, however, found now correlation between prevalence of the malady and whether the bees had been transported for pollination. The finding is important for some regions where moving bees is common. For example, almond production in California - a $2.3 billion industry - is pollinated by bees trucked into the state.

More work is being done across a wide front as scientists work to find the cause of CCD.


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