A comprehensive overview of the still-not-fully explained decline of honeybee and other bee populations is presented in a new report from the Congressional Research Service.
“To date, the precise reasons for bee colony losses are not yet known. Reasons cited for bee declines include a wide range of possible factors thought to be affecting pollinator species. These include bee pests and disease, diet and nutrition, genetics, habitat loss and other environmental stressors, agricultural pesticides, and beekeeping management issues, as well as the possibility that bees are being affected by cumulative, multiple exposures and/or the interactive effects of several of these factors,” the CRS report said.
The problem is not a trivial one particularly since, according to one estimate, “bee pollination of agricultural crops is said to account for about one-third of the U.S. diet.” See Bee Health: Background and Issues for Congress, August 27, 2013.
Other new or newly updated CRS reports that Congress has withheld from online public distribution include the following.
The Debt Limit: History and Recent Increases, August 27, 2013
House Apportionment 2012: States Gaining, Losing, and on the Margin, August 23, 2013