Colony Collapse Disorder, or CCD, has not gone away. In the US, bee colonies are still dyeing off at the rate of about 30% per year and scientists still do not know why. Honey Bee pollination accounts for one third of the food that we eat.
And here’s the really bad news: This is the fourth year surveying honey bee losses across the U.S. In 2007, beekeepers lost 32 percent of their colonies. In 2008 they lost 36 percent. In 2009, 29 percent. Pettis suspects the 2010 numbers will be as bad or worse than these previous surveys.
In a normal year, about 15 to 20 percent of bee colonies will die off. With CCD increasing, those numbers rise by a third or more. Beekeepers are spending most of their time splitting healthy colonies in half and nursing those colonies back to strength in order to meet the nation’s pollination needs.