by Janet Ritz
Experts are gathering outside Washington, D.C. today for a two-day meeting to collectively scratch their heads about the Colony Collapse Disorder, aka 'Where have all the honeybees gone.'
The phenomenon was first noticed late last year in the United States, where honeybees are used to pollinate $15 billion worth of fruits, nuts and other crops annually. Disappearing bees have also been reported in Europe and Brazil.
Commercial beekeepers would set their bees near a crop field as usual and come back in two or three weeks to find the hives bereft of foraging worker bees, with only the queen and the immature insects remaining. Whatever worker bees survived were often too weak to perform their tasks.
There's been a lot of speculation about this lately. Others have written extensively on their ideas as to the cause. I don't know the cause, so I thought I'd write an article that addresses what we do know, what questions are being asked, what is being done, and what has been reported, so far, in Congressional testimony.