HONEY BEE COLONY COLLAPSE DISORDER (Apis mellifera L.) - POSSIBLE CAUSES

Published in Scientific Papers. Series "Management, Economic Engineering in Agriculture and rural development", Vol. 14 ISSUE 2
Written by Bojana BEKIĆ, Marko JELOČNIK, Jonel SUBIĆ

Honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) is the most studied insect pollinator in the world, due to its extremely important rolein the plant reproduction. More than 80% of agricultural crops in the world are being pollinated by the honey bee.Prior to appearance of CCD syndrome, i.e. syndrome of Colony Collapse Disorder of honey bee colonies, bees havebeen disappeared en masse. Since the late 60’s of the XIX century, there were about twenty recorded cases of largehoney bee colony loses, caused by various diseases. However, since 2006, the phenomenon never seen before in theworld appeared which was called CCD syndrome. The difference between this „disease” and previous cases ofhoney bee disappearances lies in the fact that there are no dead bees as evidence of disease. Beekeepers find empty,abandoned hives with only queen bee, brood and very small number of adult workers, where the largest part ofworker bees had left the colony. There is a lot of food, honey and pollen, left in the hive. Mentioned syndrome wasfirstly appeared in the USA, where, for only one week, certain number of large beekeepers reported losses of 50-90% of their bee colonies. Soon, syndrome was noticed in Europe, where in many countries larger disappearance ofhoney bees were reported. Exact cause of CCD syndrome appearance is not known, but assumptions includeindividual impact of more factors or, more likely, their synergistic effect. Hypothesis related to causes of mentionedsyndrome include the impact of traditional honey bee diseases caused by varroa mites and other parasites, excessivepesticides consumption in agricultural production, genetically modified organisms, electromagnetic radiation, poorhoney bee nutrition, crops growing in monoculture and biodiversity loss. Nowadays, a number of researchers thinkthat it is a synergy of many factors, so that the bees as a bio-indicator reflect current state of environment in theworld. Economic estimations of damages caused by potential disappearance of this species count billions dollar,where the consequences do not consider just monetary loss, but the impact on agro food safety of the worldpopulation.

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Bekic B., Jelocnik M., SUBIĆ J. 2014, HONEY BEE COLONY COLLAPSE DISORDER (Apis mellifera L.) - POSSIBLE CAUSES. Scientific Papers. Series "Management, Economic Engineering in Agriculture and rural development", Vol. 14 ISSUE 2, PRINT ISSN 2284-7995, 13-18.


The publisher is not responsible for the opinions published in the Volume. They represent the authors’ point of view.
Copyright 2012. To be cited: Scientific Papers. Series “Management, Economic Engineering in Agriculture and Rural Development“
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