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Saturday, September 8, 2007

The Bees' Disease

I know I said I was going to be working a lot on other projects today and wasn't sure if I could get anything out to you, but I wanted to take a moment to let you know that researchers believe they may have discovered the reason for the honeybee decline this year and it is most likely a virus known as the Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (IAPV).

While the honeybee population decline can be traced back up to 20 years, this past year was the worst on record for commercial operations in the US. In the last three years, 50-90% of all commercial bee colonies in the States have been affected by Colony Collapse Disorder, or CCD. IAPV turned up regularly in most of the colonies so affected.

Honeybee colonies are important for pollination and are shipped around the country for this procedure. They are particularly necessary to the almond industry in California, where most of the world's almond crops are grown. It is an industry worth nearly $2.5 billion annually.

While IAPV is not positively the culprit in CCD, many do believe it is a primary factor involved - whether causative or indicative of something else. They do say that theories involving cellphones, environmental waste, and other hippy-rific type-stuff can be safely discounted at this point. Still, many believe CCD to be caused by several factors.

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