The decline of bees' buzzing has created a buzz of its own.
Scientists, farmers, and fans of honey are alarmed and puzzled by the sudden exodus of enormous numbers of bee colonies. At first the it was named "Fall-Dwindle Disease", but when the seemingly seasonal phenomenon failed to correct itself, scientists began calling it "Colony Collapse Disorder."
Seed Magazine recently published a comprehensive article on the epic relationship humans and bees have shared throughout our honey-loving history.
According to Kloc, the enigmatic disappearance of bees in the last three years has less to do with any one injurious factor than it does with hundreds of years of poor beekeeping. Kloc himself best sums up the complex web of apiarian abuse:
Europeans spent centuries selecting for the poorest honey-producing bees; American beekeepers took these hives and began shipping them around the country, often multiple times a year, in order to propagate the growth of a farming industry that, as it grew, only put further stress on the bees that sustained it; farmers worldwide doused their crops with pesticides that weakened the bees' immune systems; and the bees were weakened even more by the very pollen diets the monoculture crops provided.
- Questions and Answers: Colony Collapse Disorder (USDA.gov)
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