December 22, 2006

Bee losses threaten food supply

Bee colonies in Florida, Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina and elsewhere are being decimated at an alarming rate, and the cause is unknown.

The phenomenon, termed "Fall Dwindle Disease," is discussed in a preliminary report published last week by researchers in Pennsylvania and Florida.

In addition to honey producers, fall dwindle poses a serious threat to a $15 billion pollination industry that supports the nation's fruit, nut and vegetable crops each year.

Without honeybee pollination, the food supply could decrease by a third, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture, causing significant harm to citrus and blueberry production and virtually eliminating watermelons, cucumbers and squash.

Although bee experts have identified several possible culprits, a prevailing theory has yet to emerge on the source of fall dwindle.
Lakeland Ledger report: Bee losses puzzle experts

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