Honey Bee Population Drops Sharply, and More From CRS

A “sharp decline” in the U.S. population of honey bees is examined in a new report (pdf) from the Congressional Research Service.

“This phenomenon first became apparent among commercial migratory beekeepers along the East Coast during the last few months of 2006, and has since been reported nationwide,” the CRS report said.

Various potential causes have been postulated, including parasites, pathogens, chemical contaminants, poor nutrition, and “stress.”

The declining bee population is the subject of a hearing today before the House Subcommittee on Horticulture and Organic Agriculture.

See “Recent Honey Bee Colony Declines,” Congressional Research Service, March 26, 2007.

Despite the best efforts of CRS management to impede public access to CRS products, the following CRS reports were obtained by Secrecy News (all pdf).

“Federal Advisory Committees: A Primer,” updated March 20, 2007.

“Critical Infrastructures: Background, Policy and Implementation,” updated March 13, 2007.

“Defense Acquisition: Use of Lead System Integrators (LSIs) — Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress,” March 26, 2007.

No Responses to “Honey Bee Population Drops Sharply, and More From CRS”

  1. moosie April 17, 2007 at 1:15 AM #

    I know I am not a scientist or even a beekeeper but I have given great thought to this and although a theory, it may be worth looking into. My Theory: There has been a lot of bombing over in the middle east, even though the country is across the water, wind does carry dust and particles around the world. What if the cause of our problem actually originates in the dust from all this bombing? Has there been any study done to see if it might also have something to do with the smoke from 9/11?

    Without bees … our own lives are in jeopardy, so I hope this problem will solved soon.

  2. Walter Disher April 22, 2007 at 10:54 AM #

    Since the bees are apparently not coming back to their nest, I am wondering about the built-in navigational system of the bee being confused by the rapid increase in cell phones and towers. What frequency are the bees communicating on? Does the rapid demand and use of cell phones confuse the bees? Also, I noticed that some areas affected included major port operations (New York, Charleston,SC, Texas, California.) If the honeybee cannot adapt to this change, our world will face great peril due to food shortage.

  3. Josh Wehr December 29, 2007 at 11:08 PM #

    I’m young, and me and some friends were at a party last night and we got to talking, and this subject was brought up.
    My friend told me that the bee population was dropping dramatically, and that affects us alot, whether people think so or not.
    My friend then had a theory on why it was happening. He believes that the increase in temperature from global warming has led the bees to eat the honey that they had saved for the winter, because the hot and cold extremes. This leads to the bees stressing out about not having enough honey for the winter, and die of stress. Makes sense to me, but I don’t know the anatomy of a bee so I can’t say for sure.
    However I find it rather ignorant that we try so hard to help other countries, yet the main thing we could do to help them is stop polluting.

  4. Chris Branson April 7, 2008 at 8:29 PM #

    The massive “Colony Collapse Disorder” across The Northern hemisphere has been documented, and culprit(s) identified; Virus and a parasite. Scientists from Edgewood Chemical Biological Center and University of California San Francisco have identified the one-two-punch and the devistating effects of pollination failure of major crops over the last 5 years. You can find more information here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070426100117.htm

  5. Paul in Georgia USA October 18, 2009 at 8:37 PM #

    The article cited by Mr. Branson on Apr 7 08 does not draw conclusions about colony loss that he claims.
    There are indicators that new classes of insecticides used primarily in the United States that may be the straw breaking the bees backs.

  6. Gideon's Trumpet July 29, 2010 at 11:42 PM #

    The decline of the bee population is in no small way directly related to the soon to be realized decline of the human population of this planet.

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