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Recent Honey Bee Colony Declines

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This report examines the recent sharp decline in U.S. honey bee colonies, which scientists are now calling the Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). This phenomenon first became apparent among commercial migratory beekeepers along the East Coast during the last few months of 2006, and has since been reported nationwide.

Honey bees are the most economically valuable pollinators of agricultural crops worldwide. Many scientists at universities and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) frequently assert that bee pollination is involved in about one-third of the U.S. diet, and contributes to the production of a wide range of fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, forage crops, some field crops, and other specialty crops. The monetary value of honey bees as commercial pollinators in the United States is estimated at about $15 billion annually.