UK faces mysterious bee disease

Published: Tuesday 15 May 2007

British beekeepers have been confronted by a mysterious disease that has already affected the us and many European countries. Known as colony collapse disorder (ccd), it is possibly the most serious disease faced by bees.

According to the uk's National Bee Unit, a branch of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs "The primary symptoms of ccd is the total collapse of bee colonies, with a complete absence of bees or only a few remaining in the hive." However, the unit has no explanation for what is triggering the disease in the uk.

The mysterious deaths of bees in entire hives have also been reported from the us, Spain, Italy, Poland, Greece, Portugal and France. Commercial bee-keepers in 22 us states have reported losses of up to 95 per cent of their bees.

Environmental stress, malnutrition, pathogens, the use of antibiotics, mites, pesticides and genetically modified crops have been suggested as possible factors causing ccd.

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