This sad event is world wide and will eventually affect us all, in one way or another. This article explains a couple of main studies that have been done to try and understand what the cause is. It's a bit long, but interesting.
Colony Collapse Disorder
Since 1972, there has been a dramatic reduction in the number of feral honey bees in the United States, which are now almost extinct. It has become clear that an unknown factor is threatening the existence of bees around the world. The phenomenon has become known as colony collapse disorder. By February 2007, large commercial migratory beekeepers in several U.S. states had reported heavy losses associated with CCD. Colony losses were also reported in five Canadian provinces, several European countries, and in South America, Central America and Asia. The mechanisms of CCD are unknown, but many causative agents have been proposed, including malnutrition, pathogens, immunodeficiencies, mites, fungus, pesticides, and electromagnetic radiation (EMR).
In October 2011, a review study was published by the Indian government’s Ministry of Environment and Forests that looked at 919 peer-reviewed scientific studies that investigated the impact of electromotive force (EMF) on birds, bees, humans, animals/wildlife and plants. Six articles on bees claimed to find evidence for negative side effects related to the exposure of EMF radiation. One experiment noted that when a mobile phone was kept in a beehive, worker bees stopped coming to the hive after ten days. The same study found a drastic decrease in the egg production of queen bees when a mobile phone was present. The authors concluded that “Existing literature shows that EMRs are interfering with the biological systems in more ways than one.” They recommended recognizing EMF as a pollutant.
In early October 2011, millions of honey bees died in the area of Brevard County, Florida. The case has baffled experts because the bees appear to have been poisoned. The bodies do not resemble any recorded examples of colony collapse disorder. It cannot be determined exactly what killed the colonies, but as many as 12 million bees from 800 hives in Brevard County, on central Florida’s Atlantic coast died during a seven day span. The bee carcasses show signs of pesticide poising and the case is being investigated as a possible crime. In an interesting coincidence, county officials sprayed mosquito-killing pesticide from the air in the week prior to the deaths. They said the poison dissipates quickly and should not have harmed the bees. The colonies are being tested to determine the exact cause of death, but no official information has been released.
As you can tell, I survived the get-together. It actually wasn't as bad as I expected and was overall a good party! Who would have guessed?
Coffee on the patio this morning. Fresh baked peanut butter chocolate cookies to go along with it, OK?