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Green news from the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
by David Bennett
on November 14, 2012 at 2:32 PM
"Scientists believe CCD is caused by multiple factors: diseases, viruses, pesticides, pests, malnutrition and stress"  
I don't believe this is the case. CCD has attacked hives that are not subject to the stress of being transported across the country. All of the other factors save one have been around for a long time without CCD occurring.  
I believe that the current CCD outbreak is much, much larger in magnitude and scope worldwide than any previously documented outbreaks.  
That leaves one factor that was not present earlier - pesticides - specifically neonicotinoids.
by Kathy Keatley Garvey
on November 19, 2012 at 5:23 PM
Hi, David,  
Thank you for your comment. Extension apiculturist Eric Mussen of the UC Davis Department of Entomology, clarifies:  
"In response to the statement: 'That leaves one factor that was not present earlier - pesticides - specifically neonicotinoids.'  
"If exposure to field doses of neonicotinoid pesticides (usually less than 10 ppb) is considered to be the sole reason for honey bee colony demise, then why did colonies, fed 13 times during the season with a liter of sucrose syrup containing either 0.5 micrograms or 5.0 micrograms (0.5 and 5.0 ppb) of imidacloprid, survive all season and through the winter? This study was conducted in France by Jean-Paul Faucon, et al., and can be reviewed on the Internet at DOI: 10.1002/ps.957 or directly at;jsessionid=DGwkAFj1i8sjlwAOnB0V.8.  
"Using sophisticated correlation analyses, no one cause for colony collapse disorder (CCD) distinguishes itself as being any more apt to cause the malady than any other single or multiple set of causes. It seems to be more of a “Perfect Storm” phenomenon." --Eric Mussen, Extension apiculturist.
by Liam
on December 14, 2012 at 10:18 PM
Cannot find any information regarding the effect CCD has had on the so called "Africanized" bees. Here in SA the colony losses only appear in pollination units. I have never caught more wild swarms than this year. On a golf course here in Cape Town, I have caught over 50 swarms this year alone. Capensis sorts out Varoa, small hive beetle and more. AFB is the only problem we seem to have at this stage - extremely small problem.  
Maybe its time to learn to work the "Africanized" bees. They've worked for us for over a hundred years and we never re queen either.
by David Bennett
on February 14, 2013 at 3:03 PM
Hi Kathy,  
I wasn't able to read the complete study without paying for access. However, I have been following the news and the European Food Safety Authority has now effectively banned neonicotinoid pesticides.
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