Colony collapse disorder, or CCD, is a very real threat to farmers everywhere. Since 2006, honey bees around the world have been disappearing from hives and there is no clear reason to be found. If bees cease to help pollinate Washington’s crops, our state’s entire agricultural economy could be headed for disaster. Bees are integral to the agricultural community because – according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Research Service – bees not only make honey, but they pollinate up to one-third of the crops which produce the food we eat.
In the meantime, scientists have determined that a combination of factors could be contributing to CCD. Exposing the bees to certain pesticides could weaken their immune system and leave them susceptible to fungal diseases. Washington State University will be studying issue, and their research will begin this summer.