from caraway – 02/12/2007
"A mysterious illness is killing tens of thousands of honeybee
colonies across the country, threatening the livelihood of commercial
beekeepers and sending researchers scrambling to find answers.
The ailment, called Colony Collapse Disorder, could affect domestic
honey production in the United States and, perhaps even more
importantly, put a strain on fruit growers and other farmers who rely
on bees to pollinate their crops.
Reports of unusual colony deaths have come from at least 22 states…
In lab specimens of dissected bees, Cox-Foster said she found an
alarmingly high number of foreign fungi, bacteria and other organisms
and weakened immune systems.
The country’s bee population had already been taking a hit in recent
years because of the parasitic varroa mite, which had destroyed more
than half of some beekeepers’ hives and devastated most wild