It’s been five years since the phenomena now known as Colony Collapse Disorder was reported by a Pennsylvania beekeeper overwintering bees in Florida. One positive result of the media attention that swirled around CCD has been the heightened awareness by the general public that honeybees are a vital part of our food chain.
While the exact cause may never be known, this beekeeper believes that it’s a combination of factors from decades of pesticide use, combined with an ever-increasing burden of new parasites and diseases. This could be exacerbated by the stress placed on the bees due to the long-haul migratory pollination required to make commercial beekeeping economically viable.
It’s encouraging to see the subsequent interest and growth in sustainable urban and suburban beekeeping. As beekeepers, it’s now up to us to keep the message in the public consciousness.