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Molly O'Connor

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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?


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    Mar 14 2012: Pesticides, herbicides.
    Roundup (Monsanto)

    Quote: "The pesticide problem
    While CCD is a complex issue, no-doubt, much of the developing research points to another cause: newfangled chemicals called systemic pesticides. Instead of being applied to leaves, they are enrobed on seeds and/or entrenched in the soil, allowing for the poison to literally become part of the plant.

    Consequently, honeybees bring the systemic pesticides back to the hive in the form of pollen and nectar and store it in their honeycomb. When future generations dip into their reserves, they ingest toxins that target their central nervous system, affect their navigational capabilities and impair their memory. More importantly, the chemicals compromise their immune system – the number one key to fighting any kind of insult to the body, including a virus like IAPV."



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      Mar 15 2012: Another thing about the pesticide theory is that honey bees are very loyal to certain plants. They tend to follow a set pattern until those flowers are no longer providing them with pollen and nectar and then they will move on. If the pesticides are truly getting into the plants then every time that worker bee obtains resources from the same plants, it's as if they are bringing more pesticide into the hive and exacerbating the situation. Thank you so much for the information.

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