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5/14/2007

Bee die-off troublesome to keepers

Area apiarists are concerned about the recent and poorly understood Colony Collapse Disorder. CCD has been attributed to massive die-offs of beehives or colonies.

Michigan, USA

May 13, 2007

Colony Collapse Disorder has wiped out an estimated 25% of the 2 million-plus commercial honeybee hives in the U.S. "The thing that really scares me about this is that we have no idea what this is. We're all nervous. Hopefully, somebody will figure this out.” Even without a widespread CCD die-off locally, farmers and beekeepers are starting to see a ripple effect. Beekeepers are having a hard time finding enough bees to fill their orders, while farmers are paying high prices for bee hives to pollinate their orchards. The CCD die-off hasn't been nearly as pronounced in Michigan as in Florida and in Pennsylvania, where beekeepers reporting CCD cased lost more than 70 percent of their hives. "I think Michigan is one of the best-off states.” A large majority of CCD die-offs are being found in migratory honeybees — colonies moved by operators to different areas around the country where they're needed by farmers and growers.


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