Something is bugging the honey bees. Colonies everywhere have been collapsing since 2006. The problem is a little difficult to investigate because the bee is a social animal and when he gets sick, he leaves the hive to avoid endangering the complete colony. But when all the bees do that at the same time, the result is a colony collapse.
The latest report tells that last winter, honey bee colonies suffered a 22 percent decline, which is better than the 33 percent decline a year earlier. No single factor has been identified as the cause of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).
But there are some correlations. Weaker colonies have higher pathogen levels, viruses, and pesticide residues than healthier colonies. Yet studies of 170 pesticides did not show conclusive evidence of CCD. The Varroa destructor mite is a health risk to bees, but again, not a single factor.
Researchers have also attempted to use other insects as pollinators, but an unexpected problem has arisen. Cross-infection between the honey bees and and bumble bees is occurring, complicating the use of other pollinators.
The report concludes that in the last 5 years, researchers have learned much about honey bee health and management. But colony collapse disorder is apparently a complex multifactor problem and we are not much closer in saving the little pollinators.