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Honeybee Colony Collapse: Possible causes

In recent years, honeybee colonies have been experiencing "Colony Collapse Disorder" (CCD). Given the key role of honeybees in pollinating our agricultural crops, it has become a serious issue. Many causes for the collapse of honeybee colonies are currently being investigated. The potential causes include viruses, parasites, urban sprawl, pesticides, and other environmental pollutants. Examine the phenomenon of CCD from a toxicological standpoint by researching three groups of chemicals that are being investigated as potential contributors to CCD: Antibiotics, miticides, and neonicotinoid pesticides.

Here we review "Colony Collapse Disorder" in honeybee populations, and the response should include the following components:
1. A brief introduction of the phenomenon.
2. Background information on the groups of chemicals pertinent to the Case Study.
3. Analysis of the key potential causes of the phenomena.
4. Summary of the article's conclusions and your own opinions on the potential causes for the phenomena.

Identify the potential causes listed above, and then discuss your opinion regarding which, if any, is the most likely cause. If you do not believe any of these chemicals are contributing to CCD, provide a brief discussion about what you believe to be the cause.

The Ebsco Database (Business Source Complete) is a very good source of journals for articles related to the subject matter.

Colony Collapse Disorder
An Incomplete Puzzle
J. Kim Kaplan, USDA News Service

What is the brood telling you?
Dewey Caron

Solution Preview

Since 2006 there has been a decline in bee colonies and fortunately the bee count has not shown further losses but the foundation of this dynamic is still under investigation. According to Jeff Pettis, a bee
researcher with Beltsville, Maryland Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service's, "Colony Collapse Disorder" (CCD) is likely only part of the reason for the decline.

Genetic issues, which entomologist Jay Evans is studying, appear to be a reason for concern. Viruses which provoke paralysis and wing deformity are under review. The idea that their possible inability to synthesize various types of protein could make it more difficult to deal with pesticides, immunity challenges or other issues.

Dewey Caron recommends larval samples be sent to the USDA. Beekeepers look for a one to two (or four) ratio for every egg, two larvae can be seen and four times the number of capped cells should be present.

Even with further understanding of the problem, what to do about it continues to be the dilemma. Caron is with the Oregon State University Horticulture Department.

Antibiotics, miticides, and neonicotinoid pesticides need further study.

An interesting fact indicated by the United States Department of Agriculture (ars.usda) is that Honey bees are not native to the New World; they came from Europe with the first settlers. The agency also reports that the total number of managed honey bee colonies has decreased from 5 million in the 1940s to only 2.5 million today. The government ...

Solution Summary

Honeybee Colony Collapse Disorder is discussed.