The world may be on the brink of biological disaster after news that a third of US bee colonies did not survive the winter
Disturbing evidence that honeybees are in terminal decline has emerged from the United States where, for the fourth year in a row, more than a third of colonies have failed to survive the winter.
The decline of the country’s estimated 2.4 million beehives began in 2006, when a phenomenon dubbed colony collapse disorder (CCD) led to the disappearance of hundreds of thousands of colonies. Since then more than three million colonies in the US and billions of honeybees worldwide have died and scientists are no nearer to knowing what is causing the catastrophic fall in numbers.
The number of managed honeybee colonies in the US fell by 33.8% last winter, according to the annual survey by the Apiary Inspectors of America and the US government’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS).
The collapse in the global honeybee population is a major threat to crops. It is estimated that a third of everything we eat depends upon honeybee pollination, which means that bees contribute some £26bn to the global economy.
*sigh* Why is it that such articles continue to attribute pollination to honeybees alone? If they did their research they’d discover that are over 20,000 other species of bee, not to mention countless other inverterates responsible for pollination. The only difference between here in the UK and US is many of the US growing areas are virtual monocultures with little room for native plants and their pollinators that would also service the flowering crops.