US fears over honey bee collapse

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US fears over honey bee collapse
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25 Mar 08 - Bees pollinate a third of the crops produced in the US, but our six-legged friends are in trouble.

They're getting sick and leaving their hives. Without bees, food gets more expensive - some products could disappear altogether.

Colony collapse disorder (CCD) emerged last year, and by spring 2007 bees were dying in huge numbers - over the year as a whole the total bee population fell by 30%.

Some beekeepers lost closer to 90%, and the fear is it will get worse.

Beekeeper Gilly Sherman says: "It's worse than last year, and last year was worse than the year before, so it's bad, and there are a lot of good big beekeepers that are having a lot of problems. "I think we're coming in for a big train wreck."

Without bees there would be practically no almonds, and it's the same for many other crops. Apples, strawberries, even onions, all depend on bees.

Bees' influence on supermarket shelves is vast. As well as fruits and vegetables, it could get as far as beef and dairy products because cows are fed alfalfa - another bee-pollinated plant.

See entire article by Heather Alexander
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7312358.stm
Thanks to Charles Patrick for this link







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