Bees, pesticides, and CCD: what’s the evidence?
Marla Spivak: Why bees are disappearing
Honeybees have thrived for 50 million years, each colony 40 to 50,000 individuals coordinated in amazing harmony. So why, seven years ago, did colonies start dying en masse? Marla Spivak reveals four reasons which are interacting with tragic consequences. This is not simply a problem because bees pollinate a third of the world’s crops. Could this incredible species be holding up a mirror for us?
In short, this site is a record of my learning process as I try to understand aspects of colony health and productivity, and the reasons why various management techniques work (or don’t).
Colony Collapse Disorder: A Descriptive Study
Over the last two winters, there have been large-scale, unexplained losses of managed honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies in the United States. In the absence of a known cause, this syndrome was named Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) because the main trait was a rapid loss of adult worker bees. We initiated a descriptive epizootiological study in order to better characterize CCD and compare risk factor exposure between populations afflicted by and not afflicted by CCD.
The Role of Pollen Bees in Fruit Tree Pollination and Some New Cautions on Pesticide Use
Wild and managed non-honey bee species have long supplemented honeybee pollination in fruit orchards, but their efforts have mostly been attributed to the honey bee. In light of the recent decline of honeybee populations, pollen bees will serve an even more integral role in fruit tree pollination and a number of Pennsylvania fruit growers have relied exclusively on pollen bees for pollination for over 5 years with no noticeable loss in fruit quality or yield. For those fruit growers relying mostly on wild pollen bees for pollination, additional precautions need to be taken due to recent findings on pesticide exposure. The old definition of petal fall being defined as when the honey bee hives are out of the orchard, no longer applies. We are extensively revising the pollinator section of the tree fruit production guide for the next edition coming out this winter to include this recent information.
Colony Collapse Disorder: An Introduction
Managed Pollinator CAP Update: Recollections of European Apis Mellifera Germplasm for Honey Bee Breeding
Bee Deaths Reversal: As Evidence Points Away From Neonics As Driver, Pressure Builds To Rethink Ban
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