CCD or not CCD? That is the question.

Mar 7, 2009 by some news. Not sure what to think about it. Basically it states that scientists have not been able to come up with any hard facts about why so many friggin' bees are dying, all the same way. Apparently, according to an article in the BBC news, "many experts now believe that the term [CCD] is misleading and there is no single, new ailment killing the bees." So--that means, according to the article--that CCD may not actually exist. Here's a little chunk out of the article:
Conducting experiments at an isolated almond orchard in the Central Valley area of California, Frank Eischen, of the US Department of Agriculture, said it was "probably true" that there was no new single disease. "We've seen these kinds of symptoms before, during the seventies, during the nineties, and now," he added. "It's probably not a unique event in beekeeping to have large numbers of colonies die."
Basically, the growing idea is that CCD is really a conglomeration of several different causes, like varroa mites, a lack of nutrition because of the urbanization of their pastures, and...and this is the biggie...pesticides. (Please go to the last blog and help protest unmitigated use of IMD!) Another big concern was the intensity of the agricultural system, which has beekeepers carting bees all over the state feeding them on a few single crops year round, instead of the natural diversity of pollen and nectar that they'd find flying to diverse pastures. Unfortunately for the bee loving community, there was also this kicker: "Some critics of the bee industry have called the whole concept of CCD a hoax, a public relations stunt designed to attract public sympathy." Wow--a public relations stunt? There are literally unprecedented levels of bees dying around the world--the number of bumble bees in the UK has halved in the last 60 years alone--and it's a hoax designed to manipulate people? I don't agree with this sentiment. I mean, check out those bee boxes above. Are bees supposed to live in condos? I don't think so. I'm inclined to think that there's something serious going on here that we need to continue to examine, and that this issue has brought some much needed attention to what's looking to be a broken piece of an already very broken agricultural system.

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