Colony Collapse Disorder Research Paper

1782 Words 8 Pages
Introduction

Colony collapse disorder (CCD) is causing a decline in honeybee population in the United States that in turn affects the nation’s economy and ecology. This paper will examine what CCD is, what the possible causes of CCD are, its impact on the nation’s economy and ecology, different treatment options, how this impacts the local area around the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and what the future might hold for bees in the United States.
Colony collapse disorder is a disease that causes worker bees to inexplicably not return to the hive resulting in abandonment and eventual death of the hive (PR Newswire, 2012). In fact, when this disease takes hold of a honeybee hive, there is a distinct lack of bees in and around the
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Hives beginning to be affected by the disease will present with an insufficient number of bees to feed the brood (Ellis, Evans, and Pettis, 2010). The queen is still present, but the bees begin to no longer consume the honey assigned to them (Ellis, et. al., 2010). Soon after, worker honeybees’ numbers will rapidly decrease from the hive; these bees do not ever return to the hive (Fries, 2014). A key indicator of CCD is an absence of dead or alive worker bees in and around the hive area (Watanabe, 2009). It is a characteristic of honeybees to leave the hive when infected as to not bring back the disease to the hive, which could potentially explain this specific honeybee movement. Once the bees have left the hive, there are no signs of immediate take over by pests or parasites (Fries, 2014). To test for this symptom, the hive is assessed by testing for varroa mite and nosema levels. Varroa mites are often responsible for honeybee death and disease and nosema shorten honeybee’s life by infecting the gut (Watanabe, 2009). Also associated with CCD is no immediate signs of kleptoparasitism, which is the process of bees stealing another hive’s honey (Ellis, et. al., 2010). When a bee hive is suspected to have CCD, careful analysis is done to determine whether the hive meets the criteria for CCD.
Since 2006 and the onset of CCD in the United States, there has been
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These chemical markers being identified to use as CCD markers are based off other similar tests that predict whether a colony will collapse from varroa destructors or DWV (deformed wing virus) (Dainat, Evans, Chen, Gauthier, and Neumann, 2012). This avenue of research will correctly identify CCD and could also potentially pinpoint certain causes of the disease since it must identify certain chemical markers in order to work (Dainat, et. al., 2012). These avenues of research work to understand disease at a molecular level which is beneficial for understanding the mechanisms of disease and how to faster combat

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