United States (PRWEB) March 30, 2013
The annual Winter Loss Survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Bee Informed Partnership and the Apiary Inspectors of America to quantify the colony losses suffered by US beekeepers over the winter began March 29th and is being conducted online over the next two weeks; the figures will be published May 7.
To date, the results have been startling; some beekeepers have reported losses of 40 to 50% which is twice the average in 2011.
"What I can say is, when we were in California this year, the strength of the colonies that were there was significantly lower than it was in previous years." said Dennis vanEngelsdorp, one of the conductors of the survey and an entomologist at the University of Maryland.
“This is not just a crisis in California,” said Mary Ross of the Mohawk Valley Trading Company where they specialize in raw honey “this is happening all over and everybody should be alarmed. There are a myriad of reasons why the honey bee population is declining in North America and Europe and they all fall under the term Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), a phenomenon in which worker bees from a beehive or European honey bee colony abruptly disappear.”
“CCD is a very broad term.” Ross continued. “It could be caused by a combination of, but not limited to malnutrition, pesticide use, varroa mites or GMOs among other things. However, I think that the European Commission proposal to suspend the use of three neonicotinoid pesticides on any agricultural crops that attract bees, is a step in the right direction.”
The European Commission has proposed prohibiting the sale and use of clothianidin, thiamethoxam and imidacloprid on crops attractive to bees, including sunflower, rapeseed, corn and cotton. It would also ban sale and use of seeds treated with the three pesticides. Exceptions would include crops and seeds that do not attract bees
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