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A Beekeeper's Perspective On CCD: Mystery? Disease? Symptom?

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The Organic View

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According to the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, the ambiguous explanation offered for  Colony Collapse Disorder is as follows: “beginning in October 2006, some beekeepers began reporting losses of 30-90 percent of their hives. While colony losses are not unexpected during winter weather, the magnitude of loss suffered by some beekeepers was highly unusual.

This phenomenon, which currently does not have a recognizable underlying cause, has been termed "Colony Collapse Disorder" (CCD). The main symptom of CCD is simply no or a low number of adult honey bees present but with a live queen and no dead honey bees in the hive. Often there is still honey in the hive, and immature bees (brood) are present.

ARS scientists and others are in the process of carrying out research to discover the cause(s) of CCD and develop ways for beekeepers to respond to the problem. Case studies and questionnaires related to management practices and environmental factors have identified a few common factors shared by those beekeepers experiencing CCD, but no common environmental agents or chemicals stand out as causative."

Most beekeepers have experienced this sudden dramatic bee loss. On October 10, 2011, beekeeper, Don Studinski, lost his biggest and strongest colony which produced the majority of his honey harvest in 2011. The bees suddenly died in a Golden, Colorado, suburban neighborhood far from any commercial agriculture. The population of the colony was approximately 100,000 bees at the height of summer which was merely just a few weeks prior. Don believes that CCD is not a disease but a symptom of an even bigger problem caused by the use of neonicotinoids. 

Tune in to this segment of The Organic View Radio Show, as host, June Stoyer is joined by special guest, beekeeper, Donald Studinski to discuss his research. 

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