Colony Collapse Disease

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In the autumn of 2006, farmers began to notice a loss of 30 – 90 percent of their bee hives. Loss of bee population over the cold seasons is common, but never had the decline in population been that drastic (Stress and Honey Bees). Colony Collapse Disorder is the event in which bee colony populations rapidly decrease. In this phenomenon, the bodies of the missing bees are not found and the only remaining bees are juvenile and the queen. Noticeable symptoms of CCD are: absence of adult bees in the hive, little to no dead bees in the hive, and what is left of the bee colony is reluctant to eat any of the feed given to them by the beekeeper (Related Topics). CCD is currently the biggest issue among bee keepers and farmers and economic stability. …show more content…

The Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the USDA’s internal research agency is leading several efforts to find the cause of Colony Collapse Disorder, and ways to stop it. The ARS has been striving to enhance honey bee regulation and health as well by improving bee management practices and studying honey bee diseases, vectors, and how to control them. Plus, a number of Federal agencies and state departments of agriculture, private companies, and universities have all started to seek the source and treatment of Colony Collapse Disorder. This is not the first time that bee population has declined drastically. There have been several periods in recent history that bees have been documented to have severe population loss, the 1880’s, 1920’s, and 1960’s. The unexplained loss and conditions of the bees are very similar to our current day Colony Collapse Disorder, but there is no solid proof to confirm this. In Cache Valley in Utah, 1903, 2,000 colonies of bees were lost to an unknown “disappearing disease” and more recently, in 1995-96, bee keepers in Pennsylvania lost 53% of their bee populations without even knowing the cause (ARS: Honey Bees and Colony Collapse …show more content…

It’s capable of killing off an entire colony of bees in as little as half a year. This pathogen is actually a type of fungus that originated in Asia, and only affected the Asian honey bee until it was introduced into the United States in the 1990’s. Once it comes into contact with a bee, it is massively invasive nature rapidly destroys the bee’s cells, and sabotages the digestive tract. It was believed to be one of the main causes of Colony Collapse Disorder, but there was no solid evidence to prove if it was, or if the pathogen was working in conjunction with another factor. Ingested Nosema spores pass through their host’s digestive tract until the spores germinate, then the polar filament punctures epithelial cells and they replicate within. In infected bees, spore count can exceed ten in the

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