Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Colony Collapse Disorder

  1. Dec 31, 2009 #1

    I read an article on this about a year ago or so which outlined the issues and the possible causes. Aside from cellphone radiation, it seemed like none of the other proposed causes had been conclusively ruled out. I'm just wondering if anyone could give me a bit of an update on this? Currently, what are the main culprits? What is the outlook? When can we expect some answers? Thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 1, 2010 #2
    This story: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090824151256.htm seems to be the realistic answer. Apparently some hives have reached the point of fragility in terms of ribosomal RNA (rRNA). Colonies with this genetic marker are much more susceptible to CCD, whatever is causing it.

    So what is going on is a one-two punch. Some hives have histories which resulted in the rRNA fragment production. This may have initially been caused by an infection, but what was left was a genetic flaw that spread from the queen throughout the hive. A few years later, perhaps after the initial infection has been wiped out--boom! Almost any viral infection could push vunerable colonies over the edge.

    If so CCD will go away on its own once all the vulnerable colonies die off.
  4. Jan 4, 2010 #3
    I read an article in New Internationalist a while back. The colonies collapse from multiple infections without any single infection being the root cause. It was likened to AIDS. They apparantly had weakened immune systems which left them open to attack.

    The cause was put down to the bees diet. Many commercial honey bee owners rent their hives to agriculturalists to pollinate their crops. E.g. the almond tree relies on bees for pollination. Unfortunately these can very often be monocultures. The bee therefore can only feed on one particular food source, meaning it doesn't have a wide variety of nutrients to sustain itself. In America they are also being moved great distances between crops and may have trouble adjusting to differences in temperature in such a short amount of time.
  5. Jan 4, 2010 #4
  6. Jan 9, 2010 #5
    You can watch a documentary on this on the internet on Channel 4.com http://www.channel4.com/programmes/the-last-of-the-honeybees/4od [Broken]
    I'm not sure how long they keep it up for.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  7. Jan 9, 2010 #6
    I wonder if its from too much inbreeding/ small gene pool
  8. Jan 10, 2010 #7
    Thanks for the replies - this kind of disappeared from the majority of the media. Hopefully we'll get some consistent answers soon.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook