Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD): May Update

As point­ed out by K. Eliz­a­beth on my ear­li­er post on Colony Col­lapse Dis­or­der, the inci­dent is now sus­pect­ed in Tai­wan as well. The orig­i­nal Reuters report is here. As the report quotes, it’s not a con­firmed case of CCD, is report­ed in iso­lat­ed cas­es, and caus­es may include the extreme­ly volatile weath­er.

Mean­while, anoth­er report sug­gests a rogue fun­gus may be a pos­si­ble cause or con­tribut­ing fac­tor. Researchers have iden­ti­fied the sin­gle-celled fun­gus Nose­ma cer­anae in dead bees from hives in Merced Coun­ty, Cal­i­for­nia. Oth­er teams have sim­i­lar­ly spot­ted the fun­gus in affect­ed hives across the US, as well as two fur­ther fun­gi and 12 viral infec­tions.

After so many peo­ple get­ting con­cerned, groups being formed, high pro­file politi­cians get­ting involved, apoc­a­lypse pre­dic­tions, press mis­re­port­ing, and so on, only one thing seems sure so far: that there is no sin­gle rea­son for CCD, there are most like­ly mul­ti­ple con­tribut­ing fac­tors.

But it may not be as alarm­ing as sounds. Los Ange­les Times reports that the most bee inten­sive crop in the US — almonds — is set­ting a record har­vest this year! We can cer­tain­ly heave a sigh of relief! And what’s more, the num­ber of bee hives in the Unit­ed States has reduced by 50% from the 1970s to today. If that’s not caused the apoc­a­lypse, we may still be safe…

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