Bee Losses Still a Problem in US
(VOA) Honey bees
add billions of dollars in value to around one hundred thirty
crops in the United States. But since the nineteen eighties,
researchers have been concerned about the health of these
Worries grew after the winter of two thousand six. Some pollination services
reported losses of anywhere from thirty to ninety percent of their hives. The
beekeepers did not find dead adult bees as they often do after winter. Instead,
the bees were gone. Experts gave a name to this mysterious situation: colony
in Agricultural Research magazine, from the Department of Agriculture,
takes a fresh look at C.C.D. It says the disorder is truly
a serious problem. But it says there were enough honey bees
to provide all the agricultural pollination needed last year.
reported losing about thirty-five percent of their hives in
the fall and winter of two thousand seven. It two thousand
six, it was thirty-one percent.
States has almost two and one-half million managed beehives.
Experts from the Agriculture Department and the Apiary Inspectors
of America did a study involving about one-fifth of them.
was that beekeepers who found no dead adult bees were more
likely to have the most severe losses. Also, a virus called
I.A.P.V., for Israeli acute paralysis virus, was present in
almost half the colonies studied.
say they do not know if this virus causes a colony to collapse.
They say the lack of affected bees to examine makes it difficult
to know exactly what the new disorder is.
honey bee populations can result from a number of causes. A
big problem, for example, is the varroa mite, a deadly parasite.
And experts keep looking for other answers for the current
at the University of Virginia recently reported that air pollution
may prevent bees from finding flowers to pollinate. They think
ozone in the air is keeping bees and other pollinators from
smelling the flowers. Bees feed on nectar and pollen from flowers.
and his team at Virginia studied how far the scent of flowers
travels with the wind. Before the eighteen hundreds, they say,
it was more than one thousand two hundred meters. Now, they
say, the scent can travel only about three hundred meters at
best. Their study is in the journal Atmospheric Environment.