Honeybee populations in the United States continued their decline last year, according to a survey of bee health by the Apiary Inspectors of America; U.S. commercial beekeepers saw the loss of 36 percent more hives than last year. "For two years in a row, we've sustained a substantial loss," said Dennis van Engelsdorp of AIA. "That's an astonishing number. Imagine if one out of every three cows, or one out of every three chickens, were dying. That would raise a lot of alarm." According to the survey, some 29 percent of the bee decline was caused by Colony Collapse Disorder, a mysterious and devastating phenomenon that causes adult bees to abandon their hives. On Tuesday, Pennsylvania's agriculture secretary announced a $20,000 boost to CCD research at Pennsylvania State University. Earlier this year, ice-cream maker Haagen-Daz also made quite a buzz when it pledged $250,000 in CCD research funds to Penn State and the University of California at Davis. Bees typically pollinate about $14 billion worth of U.S. crops a year.
source: Associated Press