Contemporary World Issues

Colony Collapse Disorder

What would the world be like with out honeybees? Well there would be no flowers, fruits, vegitables, nuts, and many more things we value that are produced by the honeybee. The biggest pollinator in our world is the honeybee and we humans can not survive without the honeybee. And in recent news from scientists saying honeybees could be extict by the year 2035, it is no wonder we are now beginning to panic as the problem with honeybees continues to rise at a high rate.

The Problem

In recent years the population of honeybees has been declining in large numbers world wide. But in the United States, numbers are falling quite dramatically where it could hurt the Bee Industry world wide. What could be causing this huge drop in numbers? The answer is Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Even though decline in honeybees is common, CCD seems "to differ from past situations in that colony losses are occuring mostly because bees are failing to return to the hive (which is largely uncharacteristic of bee behavior); bee colony losses have been rapid; colony losses are occurring in large numbers; and th reason(s) for these losses remains largely unknown." (Johnson) Currently there are many speculations about the cause of CCD and the idea that many things could be tied into CCD.

Symptoms of CCD

Information from Penn State University states the symptoms of a collapsed bee colony and a colony that is collapsing:

1) In collapsed colonies:

            a. The complete absence of adult bees in colonies, with no or little build up

                of dead bees in the colonies or in front of those colonies.

            b. The presence of capped brood in colonies.

            c. The presence of food stores, both honey and bee bread

                           i. which is not immediately robbed by other bees

                           ii. when attacked by hive pests such as wax moth and small hive

                               beetle, the attack is noticeably delayed.

2) In cases where the colony appear to be actively collapsing:

            a. An insufficient workforce to maintain the brood that is present

            b. The workforce seems to be made up of young adult bees

            c. The queen is present

            d. The cluster is reluctant to consume provided feed, such as sugar syrup and

                protein supplement

Possible Causes

Although no known cause of CCD has been officially named the culprit, scientists and researchers both have come up with possible causes. The one that stood out, was the idea that a previous virus to honeybees known as Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (IAPV) with a possible combination of a pesticide known as Imidacloprid.





The Importance of Honeybees



To learn more visit some of these sites.



Works Cited

Johnson, Renee. "Recent Honey Bee Colony Declines." CRS Report For Congress. 14 Aug

                2007. Federation of American Scientists. 10 Dec 2008 <


"Silence of the Bees." Nature. Doug Shultz: Dir.. PBS, New York.

"Colony Collapse Disorder." Penn State University. 15 Dec 2006. 10 Dec 2008 <http://ww>.


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