During 2006, an alarming number of honey bee colonies began to die across the continental United States. Subsequent investigations suggest these outbreaks of unexplained colony collapse were experienced by beekeepers for at least the last two years. Reports of similar die offs are documented in beekeeping literature, with outbreaks possibly occurring as long ago as 1896. The current phenomenon, without a recognizable underlying cause, has been tentatively termed “Colony Collapse Disorder” (CCD), and threatens the pollination industry and production of commercial honey in the United States.
To better understand the cause(s) of this disease and with the hope of eventually identifying strategies to prevent further losses, a group of researchers, extension agents, and regulatory officials was formed. This group represents a diverse number of institutions including Bee Alert Technology, Inc. (a bee technology transfer company affiliated with the University of Montana), The Pennsylvania State University, the USDA/ARS, the Florida Department of Agriculture, and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.
Broadly this group has identified its mandate as: “Exploring the cause or causes of honey bee colony collapse and finding appropriate strategies to reduce colony loss in the future”.
CCD Working group summary of purpose and responsibility
Fall Dwindle Disease (Now renamed Colony Collapse Disorder) Preliminary report
Fall Dwindle Disease Talk - Austin, Texas (2/07)
CCD Podcast: Listen online by selecting "browse all of Honey Bees in Crisis", and then click on "Colony Collapse Disorder. Or subscribe to the RSS feed for iTunes.
How beekeepers can help:
Complete the survey found at www.beesurvey.com
Colony Collapse Disorder Press Release (1/30/2007)