On the Radio: Declining bee population hurts Iowa and nation

Honeybees play an important role in the pollination of crops.

Listen to this week’s radio segment here or read the transcript below. This week’s segment discusses Colony Collapse Disorder, a phenomenon that threatens Iowa’s bee population.

Where have all the bees gone?

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

Around 2006 Western honeybee colonies started disappearing in North America at an alarming rate, with similar bee loss later noted in many European countries. This phenomenon became known as Colony Collapse Disorder or CCD.

The cause of CCD is unknown, but many theories have been proposed. Pesticides, viruses and parasites are among the numerous possible causes, while some researchers believe that it occurs because of a combination of factors.

The importance of the declining bee population cannot be overstated. Honeybees pollinate nearly one third of U.S. crops. Because of this, CCD greatly impacts Iowa’s agricultural economy. Estimates indicate that this could result in losses up to $12 billion for our nation.

For more information, including an interview with UI bee expert Steve Hendrix, visit IowaEnvironmentalFocus.org.

I’m Jerry Schnoor from the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research.

Thank You.

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