Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Unexplained Bee Disappearances Spread to UK

Here in the United States, (very few of us) have been following the inexplicable crash in bee population. One estimate puts bee losses at 30 percent, according to the BBC. If the same loss affected the human race, billions would be dead. Who cares if every bee in the world is wiped out? Bees play a critical role in plant pollination. As much as a third of the food you eat comes courtesy of the activity of bees. Unfortunately, according to the BBC, "there is still no answer" to what's wiping out the bees. For now, it's a condition dubbed "colony collapse disorder."

Now the problem has spread to the UK. According to
another BBC report, "wild bee populations around the UK are experiencing 'catastrophic declines.'" They call the problem "Mary Celeste Syndrome" over there (after the legendary ghost ship, of course… Pound360 likes that name better than the US version).

Suspected in Mary Celeste Syndrome are declining wildflower population and varroa mites. When varroa mites invade a bee colony, they lead to birth defects and nerve disorders.

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.