Summertime is a good time to remember our friends the pollinators. Hopefully they are hard at their important work this time of year, buzzing from here to there, fertilizing plants and making honey.
We say “hopefully” because as we’ve reported in 2013 and again last year, bees in particular have suffered from a condition known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). CCD is a phenomenon that appears to affect adult honeybees’ ability to navigate. They simply vanish from their colonies, leaving their hives in search of pollen never to return.
Although the exact cause of CCD is not known, multiple factors have been shown to impact the collapse of bee colonies—including everything from mites, diseases and poor nutrition to pollution, weather and pesticides.
Fortunately, recent data indicates that CCD may be on the decline. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), while the number of beehives lost during the winter months of 2014 – 2015 remains somewhat high, reported cases of CCD have declined substantially over the last five years.
While this is good news, bees and other pollinators continue to need our help.