Accession Number : ADA469929

Title :   Recent Honey Bee Colony Declines

Descriptive Note : Congressional rept.

Corporate Author : LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE

Personal Author(s) : Johnson, Renee

PDF Url : ADA469929

Report Date : 20 JUN 2007

Pagination or Media Count : 17

Abstract : In 2006, commercial migratory beekeepers along the East Coast of the United States began reporting sharp declines in their honey bee colonies. Because of the severity and unusual circumstances of these colony declines, scientists have named this phenomenon Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Current reports indicate that beekeepers in 35 states have been affected. Recent surveys indicate that about one-half of surveyed beekeepers have experienced "abnormal" or "severe" colony losses. Honey bees are the most economically valuable pollinators of agricultural crops worldwide. Many scientists at universities and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) frequently assert that bee pollination is involved in about one-third of the U.S. diet, and contributes to the production of a wide range of fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, forage crops, some field crops, and other specialty crops. The monetary value of honey bees as commercial pollinators in the United States is estimated at about $15 billion annually. Honey bee colony losses are not uncommon. However, current losses seem to differ from past situations in that colony losses are occurring mostly because bees are failing to return to the hive (which is largely uncharacteristic of bee behavior); bee colony losses have been rapid; colony losses are occurring in large numbers; and the reason(s) for these losses remains largely unknown. To date, the potential causes of CCD, as reported by the scientists who are researching this phenomenon, include but may not be limited to the following: parasites, mites, and disease loads in the bees and brood; emergence of new or newly more virulent pathogens; poor nutrition among adult bees; lack of genetic diversity and lineage of bees; level of stress in adult bees (e.g., transportation and confinement of bees, or other environmental or biological stressors); chemical residue/contamination in the wax, food stores, and/or bees; and a combination of these and/or other factors.

Descriptors :   *UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT, *LOSSES, *COLONIES(BIOLOGY), *LEGISLATION, *FEDERAL BUDGETS, *HYMENOPTERA, CHEMICAL CONTAMINATION, MONITORING, CONSERVATION, GENETICS, SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH, PAYMENT, CONFINED ENVIRONMENTS, ANIMAL DISEASES, FARM CROPS, MITES, PATHOGENIC MICROORGANISMS, NUTRITION, PARASITES, VALUE, STRESS(PSYCHOLOGY), STRESS(PHYSIOLOGY)

Subject Categories : Government and Political Science
      Sociology and Law
      Biology
      Environmental Health and Safety

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE