Colony collapse disorder in honey bees, Biology

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Q. Colony collapse disorder in honey bees?

Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are social insects and live in colonies in hives. Honey bees were introduced from Europe to the USA to pollinate crop plants; all honey bees in the USA today are from only four genetic lines. While native bee pollinators exist, honey bees are the main pollinators of commercial crops throughout the world.

American beekeepers commonly truck their hives long distances across the country two to three times a year to pollinate the crops as they come into flower. Typical crops dependent on honey bee pollination include:

• nut crops, such as almonds

• fruit crops, such as apples, pears, peaches, cherries

• berry crops, such as blueberries, strawberries

• vegetables, such as cucumbers, onions, carrots, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflowers.

Most bee colonies are used to pollinate only one type of crop, eg apples. During the winter, the lack of flowers to provide nectar means that beekeepers in America provide the colonies with substitute food, such as high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).


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