Fact­file on... the de­cline of the honey bee

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - News -

IN the UK, about one third of honey bee hives were lost in the win­ter of 2007/08.

A de­fin­i­tive cause for the de­cline has not been iden­ti­fied, but pes­ti­cides, mod­ern agri­cul­ture, dis­ease and se­lec­tive breed­ing have all been mooted.

Bees pol­li­nate a third of the food we eat in the UK and con­trib­ute £200 mil­lion a year to the econ­omy through the ben­e­fits of pol­li­na­tion to the food in­dus­try.

The USA is suf­fer­ing too, with a case of Colony Col­lapse Dis­or­der (CCD) – where whole colonies dis­ap­pear or die – which saw de­clines of be­tween 30 per cent and 90 per cent of bees in 27 states.

There have also been re­ports of CCD in Ger­many, Switzer­land, Spain, Por­tu­gal, Italy and Greece.

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