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Sunday, February 11, 2007 

What's happening to the Honey Bees?

From the AP we find this story of major concern to me. I LOVE my honey! But, it's not just the honey that we need to worry about....there are those things that we love to eat that need to be pollinated.
New Mystery Ailment Devastates Honeybee Industry, Already Devastated by Mite Infestation
A mysterious illness is killing tens of thousands of honeybee colonies across the country, threatening honey production, the livelihood of beekeepers and possibly crops that need bees for pollination.

Researchers are scrambling to find the cause of the ailment, called Colony Collapse Disorder.

...The country's bee population had already been shocked in recent years by a tiny, parasitic bug called the varroa mite, which has destroyed more than half of some beekeepers' hives and devastated most wild honeybee populations.

Along with being producers of honey, commercial bee colonies are important to agriculture as pollinators, along with some birds, bats and other insects. A recent report by the National Research Council noted that in order to bear fruit, three-quarters of all flowering plants -- including most food crops and some that provide fiber, drugs and fuel -- rely on pollinators for fertilization.

Mid-Atlantic Apiculture

Penn State University Entomology Dept.

American Beekeeping Federation

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