the visible hand

it is the theory which decides what can be observed – einstein

colony collapse disorder

Posted by ecoshift on April 23, 2007

Sign of the times?

Vanishing honeybees mystify scientists

“Commercial beekeepers would set their bees near a crop field as usual and come back in two or three weeks to find the hives bereft of foraging worker bees, with only the queen and the immature insects remaining. Whatever worker bees survived were often too weak to perform their tasks.

Since about one-third of the U.S. diet depends on pollination and most of that is performed by honeybees, this constitutes a serious problem, according to Jeff Pettis of the U.S. Agricultural Research Service.

Honeybees are used to pollinate some of the tastiest parts of the American diet, Pettis said, including cherries, blueberries, apples, almonds, asparagus and macadamia nuts.

Pettis and other experts are gathering outside Washington for a two-day workshop starting on Monday to pool their knowledge and come up with a plan of action to combat what they call colony collapse disorder.

“The main hypotheses are based on the interpretation that the disappearances represent disruptions in orientation behavior and navigation,” said May Berenbaum, an insect ecologist at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.”

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