Event Title

Honey Bee Nutrition and the Current State of Colony Collapse Disorder

Research Mentor(s)

Flower, Aquila

Description

Honey bee colony populations have been in noticeable decline for the past 20 years, due to the recent phenomenon termed Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). CCD is deemed to have occurred when the adult worker bees abandon what would seem an otherwise healthy hive: replete with ample food stores, a queen, and numerous larval young with attendant nurse bees. Despite extensive research, scientific consensus does not exist as to the underlying cause(s) of CCD. The cause maybe a combination of factors resulting from agricultural and beekeeping practices. The implementation of monoculture farming, with the attendant inputs of fungicides and pesticides, limited pollen source diversity. The substitution of non-pollen generated food sources in winter such as high fructose corn syrup may be immunocompromising honey bees. These practices cause nutrition and immune system deficiencies which increase bee vulnerability to disease, parasites, and CCD. Honey bees have more robust immune systems when they have access to the variety of protein sources, associated with high species richness of pollen producing plants, within range of hives. Fungicides and pesticides are being found to have impacts beyond the specifically targeted species/order, with the dynamic relationship between species in ecosystems coming into focus. Weakened by malnutrition, honey bees are more susceptible to more traditional maladies such as the Varroa mite. Determining the cause of CCD and taking action to mitigate is important due to the integral position pollinators such as honey bees occupy in both human and ecological economies; found consensus will allow solutions to be implemented, for as long as debate about the cause persists CCD will likely get worse. In this project I review the recent scientific literature on the possible causes, and create original maps using data from multiple sources to describe the geography, of CCD.

Document Type

Event

Start Date

15-5-2019 9:00 AM

End Date

15-5-2019 5:00 PM

Location

Carver Gym (Bellingham, Wash.)

Department

Environmental Studies

Genre/Form

student projects, posters

Subjects – Topical (LCSH)

Honeybee--Nutrition; Honeybee--Health; Colony collapse disorder of honeybees

Type

Image

Rights

Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author’s written permission.

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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May 15th, 9:00 AM May 15th, 5:00 PM

Honey Bee Nutrition and the Current State of Colony Collapse Disorder

Carver Gym (Bellingham, Wash.)

Honey bee colony populations have been in noticeable decline for the past 20 years, due to the recent phenomenon termed Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). CCD is deemed to have occurred when the adult worker bees abandon what would seem an otherwise healthy hive: replete with ample food stores, a queen, and numerous larval young with attendant nurse bees. Despite extensive research, scientific consensus does not exist as to the underlying cause(s) of CCD. The cause maybe a combination of factors resulting from agricultural and beekeeping practices. The implementation of monoculture farming, with the attendant inputs of fungicides and pesticides, limited pollen source diversity. The substitution of non-pollen generated food sources in winter such as high fructose corn syrup may be immunocompromising honey bees. These practices cause nutrition and immune system deficiencies which increase bee vulnerability to disease, parasites, and CCD. Honey bees have more robust immune systems when they have access to the variety of protein sources, associated with high species richness of pollen producing plants, within range of hives. Fungicides and pesticides are being found to have impacts beyond the specifically targeted species/order, with the dynamic relationship between species in ecosystems coming into focus. Weakened by malnutrition, honey bees are more susceptible to more traditional maladies such as the Varroa mite. Determining the cause of CCD and taking action to mitigate is important due to the integral position pollinators such as honey bees occupy in both human and ecological economies; found consensus will allow solutions to be implemented, for as long as debate about the cause persists CCD will likely get worse. In this project I review the recent scientific literature on the possible causes, and create original maps using data from multiple sources to describe the geography, of CCD.