Deserted beehives, starving young stun scientists

Deserted Beehives, Starving Young Stun Scientists
By Dan Vergano and Patrick O’Driscoll
USA Today
Tuesday 01 May 2007

“The bees were gone,” David Hackenberg says. “The honey was still there. There’s young brood (eggs) still in the hive. Bees just don’t do that.”


On that November night last year in the Florida field where he wintered his bees, Hackenberg found 400 hives empty. Another 30 hives were “disappearing, dwindling or whatever you want to call it,” and their bees were “full of a fungus nobody’s ever seen before.”

The discovery by Hackenberg, 58, a beekeeper from Lewisburg, Pa., was the first buzz about a plague that now afflicts 27 states, from the East Coast to the West. Beekeepers report losses of 30% to 90% of their honeybee hives, according to a Congressional Research Service study in March. Some report total losses.

Now a nationwide investigation, congressional panels and last week’s U.S. Department of Agriculture scientific workshop swarm around the newly named “colony collapse disorder.” Says the USDA’s Kevin Hackett, “With more dead and weakened colonies, the odds are building up for real problems.” (MORE)

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