Something terrible is happening to bees. Hundreds of millions of them are either vanishing or dropping dead. Beekeepers are tearing their hives out in frustration. [pic]
Look how cute these things are?!
Fingers are pointing at a number of contributing factors. Relatively new pesticides designed to impregnate the seeds of crops before they have grown could be a potential problem. Climate change has been isolated as a likely cause (though to be fair climate change could plausibly be blamed for a raucous sex scandal in the tabloids these days). The nasty Varroa mite, although present since the end of World War II, is now getting the blame for laying waste to hoardes of bees like some kind of insectoid Goebbels. Growing trends for shipping bees long distances at irregular times of the year have also attracted a fair share of criticism. Depending on whose opinion you value, one or all of these aspects of modern bee life is leading to Colony Collapse Disorder, or Honey Bee Depopulation Syndrome. Apart from having a cataclysmic name, the situation is that bees, seemingly randomly, are vanishing from once healthy hives. The bees that remain in the hives are found dead or dying, victims of an unknown malady. [pic]
Hives are disappearing and Bees are dying at an alraming rate There have been sharp bee losses across the world for the last half decade, with catastrophic losses reported in North America moving into hundreds of millions of bees. A recent study in Italy found that the mortality rate for bees was nearly 50%. So what? you may think. Understandably so. Bees are little bastards with stingers. They enjoy hovering in your face until you bat at the them, at which point they dodge out of the way like Neo in the Matrix only to resume their hovering motion around your ear, carrying with them a big bag of fear about something to do with how they are going to crawl inside you and buzz around and eat your brain. Nevertheless, the bee...