Iowa takes notice of bee problem

Photo by Goshzilla - Dann, Flickr

The plight of the bees continues to receive attention in Iowa. In late August, Steve Hendrix, a University of Iowa professor, spoke with Iowa Environmental Focus about his attempts to determine if wild solitary bees are experiencing a similar population decline to honey bees. The Gazette also addressed the bee issue today, detailing the particular declines seen by Iowa bee owners:

“We never had a problem like this when I started in the 1990s,” owner Matt Stewart said of the phenomenon, first identified in the United States’ bee population in 2006. “Ones with the disease, they’re leaving. They’re going off to die somewhere.”

. . .

Colony collapse takes an annual toll. Like many other Iowa beekeepers, Stewart has been losing up to 70 percent of his bees each year. Before the disorder, about 20 percent might die over winter.

As described by Stewart, Colony Collapse Disorder decimates bee populations. The condition is characterized by bees suddenly disappearing from their hive while leaving behind all of their foodstuffs. It is still not clear what causes the disorder.

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