TED Conversations

Molly O'Connor

This conversation is closed.

Where would you place Colony Collapse Disorder in relation to the many other problems facing our society?

Honeybees are responsible for pollinating one out of every three bites of food we consume. They pollinate more than 90% of the fruits and vegetables we eat, resulting in a net input of 36 billion dollars annually to the global economy. In the winter of 2006, a strange phenomenon occurred within honeybee populations in the United States. Without any warning, millions of honeybees disappeared from their hives. No bee carcasses were found, and it was observed that only worker bees were disappearing. Worker bees are responsible for collecting pollen, nectar, raising brood, and other essential hive functions. This loss of worker honeybees resulted in unstable honeybee hives, and led to the most serious die-off of honeybee colonies across the country recorded to date. Scientists have dubbed this occurrence Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), which is still occurring to this day. It is likely that multiple stresses are causing the collapse of honeybee colonies globally. It is widely believed that honeybees are the “canary in the coal mine” for our environment, and that the disappearance of the honeybee is a sign that our global ecosystem is in peril.

Where would you place Colony Collapse Disorder in relation to the many other problems facing our society? What tools, approaches, and collaborations are required to “get the ball rolling” and lay the groundwork for solving this issue?

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Mar 14 2012: How many people have come across lone bees not covered in pollen,just sitting there,sluggishly moving it's antennae,it may move forward abit then freeze?i've taken a few out to flowers left them there comeback a few hours later and found it dead.Can't say it's not natural way for them to die off but i did find it strange how sluggish the bee's was considering they looked in perfect health.
    • thumb
      Mar 15 2012: I believe that's part of the problem Ken. If a honey bee knows that it is dying, it will leave the hive. Bee keepers have seen the sizes of their hives decreasing and yet there are no bee carcasses for them to study or take somewhere for study. Without a body, it's hard to determine the cause of death. As for the strange behavior, the hard part there is that it could be caused by a lot of things. Internal parasites could be having an affect on organs. Pesticide poisoning could be affecting them. It's a situation where we need the dead bees to study and determine what the cause is, because as you stated, they look normal and then they're dead.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.