Colony Collapse Disorder

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Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is the term used for the unusually large die-offs in honey bee colonies over winter. First observed about a decade ago, the “disorder” is back with a vengeance. While most prevalent in the US, European and other countries are starting to find similar problems though not yet at the same scale.

The Problem

The problem is that there are not enough bees around to guarantee pollination of a variety of agricultural crops. From almond groves in California to corn and soybeans farms in the Midwest, CCD is widespread and appears to be on the verge of becoming a global problem.



Numerous theories have been advanced in the hope of finding a cause for the problem. So far none has panned out.

For example, some types of chemical pesticides, known as neonicotinoids have been implicated. However, other studies have shown that there does not appear to be any cause-effect relationship of that kind.

Other theories implicated genetically modified (GM) plants such as GM-corn containing the gene of Bacillus thuringiensis. Again, that was disproven as a probable cause of CCD by tests showing that pollen from such plants had no detrimental effects on bees.

Naturally (pun intended), even climate change has been proposed as the cause for CCD, an effect yet to be listed on the warmlist’s collation of claimed effects. Pun aside, I have my own theory, backed by some relevant observations.


Cause-Effect Relationships

Finding the correct cause-effect relationship is in many situations the most difficult problem to solve. Once the true cause of a problem has been delineated, a solution is often comparatively simple. This applies to any problem, from your car not running correctly to the bee die-offs.

The Approach

The approach to any seemingly unsolvable problem must start at the beginning. The questions which ought to be answered are:

  1. When did the problem first become apparent?

  2. What else has changed around that time?

Asking the right questions and looking at all answers – without adherence to “political correctness” – usually leads to the right answer. Let’s hope we find one and soon.

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