Thursday, October 7, 2010

Colony Collapse Disorder... we may know the cause, but we don't know the cure...

I do love my bees... even more than I love my hermit crabs.
 So, when people asked me about Colony Collapse Disorder,  (the phenomenon in which the vast majority of worker bees abruptly disappear leaving the queen and a only a few bees remaining in the hive), I often blamed it on pesticide use and big farm production. 

CCD would never happen in the LoveNest yard - Cute Husband and I never use anything with a -cide at the end of it.  Which, of course, makes all insects, spiders and stink bugs feel quite at home.

And, the only farming that occurs in our yard are the few veggies I try to grow each year before the deer eat all the leaves off the plants.
However, it looks like scientists have discovered one reason for the honey bee die off.

Researchers, predominantly from the University of Montana, have identified three viruses — Varroa destructor-1 (scary sounding, right?), Kakugo and an invertebrate iridescent virus and two fungi — Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae.

Fungi and viruses, all of which flourish in cool, wet environments. While scientists aren't certain, they believe the fungi and viruses work together to hamper the insect's digestive system.    The combination is deadly for worker bees.

And, something that could occur in the LoveNest's cool back woods.

So, we may know more about the what, but we still don't know the why or how best to resolve. 

Oh, I and also love the Cute Husband:


Anonymous said...

I just did a post about this on my wordpress blog.

Dave said...

I heard a story about that today on NPR.
The combination of fungi and bacterias can certainly wreak havoc, then throw in a little pesticide and fertilizer...and it's the DDT of the 21st century.