Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD)Colony Collapse disorder also known as CCD is a mysterious bee disease that has recently killed honey bees in apiaries across the world. This disease determines honey bees to leave their hive with no apparent reason and never turn back thus leading to the death of the entire bee colony.
The disease was first registered on North American territory towards the end of 2006. From that moment on, researchers have tried to determine the exact cause of this condition. It has been speculated that various pathogen agents, viruses, pollution, climate changes, excessive usage of pesticides and even the radiation emitted by mobile phones are responsible for this uncommon bee disease. It has been speculated that bee viruses such as the Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus or the Kashmir Paralysis Virus are to a certain degree responsible for the disease.
There are researchers who believe that starvation might be one of the causes of Colony Collapse Disorder. Honey bees raised for commercial purpose have a quite limited diet and for this reason their immune system is subjected to a lot of stress and therefore less resistant. It has also been stated that genetically modified crops, especially their pollen grains. The main culprit in this case is considered to be the corn modified to produce a certain toxin named Bacillus Thuringiensis. Nonetheless the bacillus alone cannot be blamed for the Collapse Disorder. Scientists from Germany speculate that this mysterious disease might be result of the combined action of Nosema and exposure to Bt pollen grains.
However, it has not been proved that the IAPV is the sole responsible for the pest called Colony Collapse Disorder, but it has been identified in all families suffering from CCD. It could be possible for the Collapse Disorder to be caused by a combination between IAPV and other stress factors. Research is being done in order to verify this hypothesis. Lack of genetic diversity and migratory beekeeping are also suspected of being causes of Colony Collapse Disorder.
Bee families affected by this disease might lose between thirty to ninety per cent of their members. It has been observed that the surviving individuals are extremely weak and it is almost impossible for them to pollinate and produce honey. What differentiates Colony Collapse Disorder from past bee loses is the fact that the bees do not return to their hive, which is extremely uncommon for these insects. Furthermore, this disease is not a seasonal one since it might occur in winter and autumn as well. Another characteristic of the disease is the sudden loss of families. There is no gradual disappearance or loss of bee family members. There are not dead bees inside the hives. The brood, the queen, a cluster of adults and the food storage are still in the hive. In a CCD affected hive, the queen remains active and still lays eggs. However, the few adult bees that remain in the hive are not willingly to consume the artificial food provided them by the beekeeper. The foraging activity is also very scarce.
Colony Collapse Disorder is a bee illness that poses lots of questions and causes worries among beekeepers around the world. The absence of dead CCD infested bees makes it very difficult to discover the real cause of the phenomenon, not to mention a treatment.
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