A recent Federal study blames a combination of factors for the mysterious and dramatic disappearance of U.S. honeybees.
The multiple causes make it harder to do something about what’s called colony collapse disorder, experts say. The disorder has caused as much as one-third of the nation’s bees to just disappear each winter since 2006.
Besides making honey, honeybees pollinate more than 90 flowering crops. Among them are a variety of fruits and vegetables: apples, nuts, avocados, soybeans, asparagus, broccoli, citrus fruit and cranberries. About one-third of the human diet comes from insect-pollinated plants, and the honeybee is responsible for 80 percent of that pollination.
Researchers said it was not clear whether a certain class of pesticides was a major cause of the colony collapse.
Environmental groups described the lapse as a missed opportunity to respond swiftly to a situation that has decimated the country’s bee population.
The European Union voted this week for a two-year ban on a class of pesticides, known as neonicotinoids, that has been associated with the bees’ collapse. Read more about other recent developments in European honeybee survival.