Colony collapse disorder
vanEngelsdorp, Dennis Department of Entomology, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania.
Last reviewed:April 2019
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- Decline of bee populations
- Causes of colony collapse disorder
- Varroa mites
- In-hive pesticides
- Farmer-applied pesticides
- Poor nutrition
- Potential effect on agriculture
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
A detrimental condition in honeybee colonies characterized by a rapid loss of the adult bee population, with an absence of dead bees in and around affected colonies. Colony collapse disorder (CCD) first came to light in the fall of 2006 and is regarded as one of the foremost threats to managed honeybee (Apis mellifera) colonies in the United States (Fig. 1). The condition has spread to many areas of Europe as well. Numerous stressors (for example, compromised immune function, viral pathogens, parasites, and exposure to pesticides and insecticides) have been ascribed as being the cause (or causes) of colony collapse disorder, but so far there has been no official determination. However, entomologists are noticing that the threat assigned specifically to CCD seems to be decreasing somewhat for unknown reasons. Some researchers believe that CCD, as a specific phenomenon or disorder, may be exhibiting a dormant state. In certain cases, bee colonies are still suffering losses, but researchers are less concerned about CCD and have shifted their attention to the general health of bees, trying to determine how nutrition, pesticides, pathogens, and parasites are affecting bee populations. See also: Beekeeping; Colony collapse disorder may be a diminishing problem for bees; Die-off of bees; Economic entomology; Hymenoptera; Insect diseases; Pathology; Population ecology
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