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Colony Collapse Disorder Of The Honeybee

2340 words - 10 pages

To most, the honeybee can be an annoying insect that has a powerful sting. Yet, the honeybee is so much more than just another insect. The honeybee is arguably the most vital component in the development of our food crops. With roughly 90 percent of our food crops dependent on the pollination of our honeybees, our food system, agricultural development, and diet rest on the work and well being of these buzzing insects. Unfortunately, since 2006 there has been a major decline in the population of honeybees, and has gotten progressively worse because of colony collapse disorder. The first reported increase of CCD was documented in November 2006 in Florida. By February 2007, several states began reporting major losses associated with CCD, ranging from 30% to 90%. A little over a half decade later in 2012 the attention paid towards CCD has grown substantially with more research being done as CCD continues to get worse. The main culprit for CCD, as research has suggested, is the use of pesticides on our food crops. With major corporations such as Bayer making millions and millions of dollars in profit each year in the distribution of pesticides, it is no wonder that nothing is being done to stop this practice despite evidence linking the use of pesticides and the drastic deterioration of the health of honeybees. With the continuation of the use of deadly pesticides and the vital role bees play in the pollination and development of our food crops, both the environment and our economy will be effected directly and face the potential for catastrophic results.
When looking back at history we find that colony collapse disorder has always been a mystery disease. The first published record of this disorder appeared in 1869 when large numbers of bees were found dead. At the time, various names were given to this disease as experts jumped from one theory to the next about what was going on. Over the years many experts disagreed about what was actually causing colony collapse disorder. With limited amounts of resources, researchers used various methods to try and determine the cause of so many bees dying. According to Robyn Underwood and Dennis vanEngelsdorp (2007) of Penn State University, researches at the time “speculated that the death was due to a lack of pollen, poisonous honey, or a hot summer”. Although there was advancement in research that led to various case studies, no one was able to pinpoint the exact cause of CCD and how to stop it. Underwood did point to one specific disease that caught some attention in the early 1900s. Stonebrood, which is caused by the fungus Aspergillus Flayus, affects both immature and adult bees. This disease “infected larvae into solid, hard mummies that are not easily removed by the bees” (Underwood & vanEngelsdorp, 2007). What is alarming about Stonebrood disease is that it just came and went without anyone being able to figure out how to stop it. The point here, according to the authors, is that “it is yet to be...

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