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Colony Collapse Disorder Threatens US Food Supply

Colony Collapse DisorderAccording to a study released on Monday, the use of honey substitutes as bee feed is most likely contributing to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) by depriving honeybees of compounds that strengthen their immune systems.

CCD is a serious problem threatening the health of honey bees and the economic stability of commercial beekeeping and pollination operations in the United States.

Experts are finding that since bee keepers typically use honey substitutes instead of actual honey to feed them, which ultimately compromises the ability of the bees to survive pathogens and pesticides.

Last winter, as part of an unexplained decline in the crop-pollinating insects, bee keepers in the US lost nearly one third of their colonies. During the winter of 2012-2013, the US Department of Agriculture and the Apiary Inspectors of America speculate that over 30% of honeybee colonies were lost. This is a rise from 22% the preceding year.

All it takes is a prolonged multiyear decline to threaten the entire species and affect crop pollination.

Honeybees are critical to fruit and vegetable pollination. Experts are divided over habitat loss, parasites, or pesticides are responsible for their deaths.

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About the author

Leigh is a Senior Technical Communicator working in the energy sector in Dallas, Texas. Prior to her work in the energy industry, Leigh spent years specializing in life saving engineering projects for the US Department of Defense. In her spare time, Leigh pursues her passions of environmental awareness, vegan baking, dog rescue, and defending the place of art, literature, and music in a world that values science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

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