Colony Collapse Disorder: Background information when reading The Beekeeper's Lament

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The Beekeeper's Lament

How One Man and Half a Billion Honey Bees Help Feed America

By Hannah Nordhaus

The Beekeeper's Lament
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  • Paperback: May 2011,
    288 pages.

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Book Reviewed by:
Elizabeth Whitmore Funk

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Beyond the Book:
Colony Collapse Disorder

honey bee According to the United States Department of Agriculture, Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is a phenomenon in which bees mysteriously disappear from their hives. "The main symptom of CCD is simply no or a low number of adult honey bees present but with a live queen and no dead honey bees in the hive. Often there is still honey in the hive, and immature bees (brood) are present."

Though "scientific literature has several mentions of honey bee disappearances - in the 1880s, the 1920s, and the 1960s," specific cases of CCD began to occur in American apiaries in October 2006, and beekeepers across the country were confounded when thousands of honeybees began to disappear, leaving behind empty, healthy hives. Since then, the occurrence of CCD has continued to increase, with a peak of 36% of American beekeepers reporting cases of the disorder in 2008, and "some beekeepers began reporting losses of 30-90% of their hives."

Scientists are working to determine the cause of CCD, and ...

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