In the last decade a significant amount of honey bee's have disappeared. This is continuing to happen at an alarmingly rapid rate. This report explores causes of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Whether it is caused because of humans or just a phenomenon of nature. To conclude, prevention of further population declines will be discussed which will indicate what needs to be done to put an end to the possibly deadly situation.
What is the CCD?
Defined by wikipedia the Colony Collapse Disorder is a ''phenomenon in which worker bees or European honey bees abruptly disappear''. What this means is there is a blatant drop in honey bee population. Many possibilities exist as to why it is happening. As top pollinators bees play a vital role in the growth of natural produce. They provide plants with the nutrients they need. If they do not get pollinated, many economies will suffer, orchards, farms may be closed down which would lead to job loss and natural food may go up in price, as it gets harder to obtain. This would have a huge negative impact all over the world. For exporters ,importers, horticulture/agriculture industries and many nations economies.
Is CCD caused by humans?
What is causing the Collapse is such a controversial issue as there are so many theories. This is why research agencies and scientists are investigating the cause to help toput an end to it. An article in the New Zealand Herald (www.nzherald.co.nz) stated that ''A new generation of pesticides is making honey bee's far more susceptible to disease and may be a clue to the mysterious colony collapse''. It was later said ''that information was not released until two years after it was found out''. This would mean that pesticide users were possibly killing honey bees unknowingly. Another quote stated ''German chemical company ''Bayer'' insisted the pesticides are safe for bees if they are used properly but those pesticides have been widely linked to bee mortality''. The American Environment Agency, EPA (www.epa.gov) had said in an article that there are many possible causes but leading scientists and research agencies have narrowed the causes down to about seven. One of those causes was ''pesticide poisoning through exposure to pesticides applied to crops or for in-hive insect or mite control''. Another website (www.scientificamerican.com) has also linked the causes to humans by saying ''Research is pointing to a complex disease in which combinations of factors, including farming practices, make bees vulnerable to viruses''. This means pesticides can interfere with honey bee immunity. ehow.com explained ''pesticides kill bees by been breathed in or directly sprayed. The toxin then gets to their stomach and is transferred into their blood stream leading to death''. Many more websites have also linked pesticides to the cause of CCD, so are pesticides really the best option in the end? From this information it's obvious that these poisions are playing a huge part in the CCD.
Is the CCD caused by a natural event?
Natural causes for the CCD is a complex investigation as it involves a lot of time and research and scientists don't always know what to expect. However, scientists think that the CCD could possibly be caused by an insect virus and/or fungus. The website www.sciencedaily.com pointed this out when Shan Bilimoria was interviewed, a professor and molecular virologist who said ''At this stage, the study is showing an association of death rates of the bees with the virus and fungus present'' .In the same article they said ''using analytical equipment, researchers discovered through spectroscopic analysis evidence of a moth virus called insect iridescent virus (IIV) 6 and a fungal parasite called Nosema''. This virus has similar characteristics to a virus that wiped out many bees 20 years ago in India. The organisation www.fas.org also have a similar theory in an article, ''scientists from the Army’s Edgewood