The four year-old crisis of the disappearing bee is deepening. Harsh winter conditions led to a massive bee die-off and a new study found bee pollen and hives laced with pesticides.
Bee populations have been on the decline for years, but in 2006 scientists noticed an alarming drop in population and found that entire colonies were being abandoned as bees went off to die elsewhere, a phenomenon labeled “colony collapse disorder.”
With bees disappearing, farmers are scrambling to find enough of the little guys to pollinate their crops. The seriousness of the situation became clearer this spring when a hive shortage threatened the almond crop in California, which supplies the bulk of the world’s almonds.
Many culprits could possibly be behind the bees demise including viruses, bacteria, mites, chemical exposure and poor nutrition, but scientists are now zeroing in on pesticides.