Monday, 25 January 2010

Hard times for honeybees

The BBC's Richard Black compares the plight of frogs with that of honeybees:

"While the chytrid fungus has blown whole [frog] populations away single-handedly in a season's shooting spree, many species undergo a slow, inexorable decline more akin to starvation or an ancient torture; squeezed into corners by the expanding human habitat, poisoned by farmland chemicals, eaten by bigger invasive neighbours, hunted for meat, stressed by temperature rise and stalked by viruses - or any combination of the above."

"As the plot of that detective story becomes clear, it seems that scientists are beginning to write another with a very similar narrative, but this time with bees cast as the victims."

"Bee populations - wild and cultivated - have always had their ups and downs, their years of plenty and years of absence. But about five years ago, commercial beekeepers in the US began reporting total wipe-outs of hives on a scale not documented before, leading to the term colony collapse disorder (CCD)."

Read the whole article here.

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