Colony Collapse Disorder Action Plan

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Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), a significant disappearance of honey bee colonies that may be affecting bees in more than 22 states, threatens the production of crops dependent on bees for pollination as well as honey production. Pollination is responsible for $15 billion in added crop value, particularly for specialty crops such as nuts, berries, fruits, and vegetables. Of the 2.4 million colonies of bees in the United States, the almond crop in California alone requires 1.3 million colonies, and this need is projected to increase significantly over the next few years. The bee industry is facing difficulty meeting the demand for pollination in almonds because of bee production shortages in California. Consequently, growers depend increasingly on beekeepers from other states to transport honey bee colonies across the country to meet the pollination demand (a phenomenon known as migratory beekeeping). If researchers cannot find a solution to CCD, beekeepers will be unable to meet demand for this and other crops.

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