Techy Tuesday: Battling for Bees

Surely you have heard about the mysterious disease that is killing off bees?  There has been a lot of concern about colonies of bees simply disappearing.  Now it seems the disappearances have stopped.  But, the bees are still dying by the handfuls!  What gives?

“We still don’t really know why Colony Collapse Disorder was happening, but it looks as if we are turning the corner,” writes Noah Wilson-Rich, the founder and chief scientific officer of the Best Bees Company. “Scientists I’ve spoken to in both academia and government have strong reason to believe that C.C.D. is essentially over.”

“This finding is based on data from the past three years — or perhaps, more accurately, the lack thereof. There have been no conclusively documented cases of C.C.D. in the strict sense. Perhaps C.C.D. will one day seem like yet another blip on the millennium-plus timeline of unexplained bee die-offs. Luckily, the dauntless efforts of beekeepers have brought bee populations back each time.”

C.C.D. created momentum for the greater cause of bee health, of acknowledging the importance of pollinators. We cannot lose this momentum now. Honeybees pollinate more than 100 fruit and vegetable crops that we rely on for food. According to the entomologist Nicholas W. Calderone at Cornell, bees contribute more than $15 billion annually to the economy in the United States alone, and that number soars past $100 billion globally.

And yet we are still losing 30 percent of bees annually in the United States.

(READ the Op/Ed by Noah Wilson-Rich, the author of “The Bee: A Natural History,” on the New York Times)