The European Honeybee (Apis Mellifera)
The First 21 Days of a Bee's Life
This was a great TED Talk video, revealing the life-cycle of our Domestic Honeybee (Apis Mellifera) as witnessed by Anand Varma while filming for National Geographic.
Anand Varma's 60 second video for National Geographic is here:
Anand Varma's 60 second video for National Geographic, is here:
Why are the Honeybees Disappearing?
There are several factors culminating in the Death and the Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) we are witnessing.
- American Foul Brood - A bacterial growth of spores that kills larvae, produces a rotting smell, and transmits to other hives easily.
- Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) - Sudden loss of a colony's worker bee population with few dead bees found near a colony are signs of this disorder. The Direct cause is unknown.
- Varroa Mites - These mites feed on the body fluids of bees they inhabit, spread quickly, and can be difficult to detect.
- Tracheal Mites - These mites infest adult bees, including large breathing tubes near the base of the bees' wings, and make it more difficult for them to keep warm in winter.
- Wax Moths - The moths attack weak colonies by chewing through combs of a hive. Larvae tunnel into combs and destroy the colony.
- Pesticides (particularly, Neonicotinoids) - Commercial pesticides are strictly regulated, but ones used by suburban homeowners are not. Bees land on plants which have been sprayed with pesticides and poison themselves, along with their colonies.
- Natural Pathogens (Bacteria/Molds/Fungus)