Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD)

January 15th, 2008

I have just returned from Sacramento, California where I attended the 2008 National Beekeeping Conference. There were presentations on most Beekeeping topics. The presenters were practically every researcher, professor, and scientist that works on honeybees in the United States. However, for this entry I would like to concentrate on Colony Collapse Disorder or as it is now known by, CCD.

CCD is the much publicized condition in which a seeming thriving honeybee colony suddenly and quickly collapses. A more detailed explanation would be, the colony of possibly 50,000 honeybees dwindles down to a hundred honeybees and a queen or maybe zero honeybees in a time period of less than 2 weeks. Furthermore, wax moths, hive beetles and robbing honeybees that are usually quickly ravishing the hive are not immediately present. Brood, comb and honey are mysteriously alone without honey bees or pests.

Many theories have arisen on the cause of CCD. I will stick to what researchers I listened to have stated and offer my humble beekeepers opinion on CCD. I am not an expert on scientific data and certainly not on CCD. I can only offer you, as a hard working beekeeper, a common sense approach to CCD.

First, CCD is mostly in commercial operations. That is not to say it does not exist in hobby or sideline operations, it does. Commercial beekeepers have most of the hives in the country and are most susceptible to disease and viruses spreading because the hives are in close proximity. CCD has also been reported by organic operations in California.

Let me list what is being researched and discussed as conditions associated with Colony Collapse Disorder.

ยท Stress on hives due to constant relocation

ยท Possible pesticide poisoning of the honeybee food supply

ยท Honeybee viruses including, IAPV,KBV, ABPV.

ยท Honeybee disease, nosema apis and nosema ceranae

ยท Poor nutrition of the honeybee diet.

Each condition above can be discussed and analyzed in great length. CCD may be caused by several of these conditions combined. Test results have shown that not every colony suffering from CCD has all or just one of the above conditions.

My objective is to inform beekeepers so we can develop good beekeeping practices

In my next post I will start discussing the first condition on the list. I will then continue to post and cover each condition. I think you will be amazed to find out how much can be discussed on the above conditions of the honeybee colonies. Some of our beekeeping practices will definitely help our bees. Other things may be out of our hands.

Hello world!

January 15th, 2008

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