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.

  1. American Foul Brood - A bacterial growth of spores that kills larvae, produces a rotting smell, and transmits to other hives easily.
  2. 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.
  3. Varroa Mites - These mites feed on the body fluids of bees they inhabit, spread quickly, and can be difficult to detect.
  4. 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.
  5. Wax Moths - The moths attack weak colonies by chewing through combs of a hive.  Larvae tunnel into combs and destroy the colony.
  6. 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.
  7. Natural Pathogens (Bacteria/Molds/Fungus)

Why are the Honeybees Disappearing? (CBS News 5/13/2015)

BERLIN, GERMANY - APRIL 28: Beekeeper Eva Fisher (L) and friend Chloe Hervell, a highschool exchange student from Utah, do a weekly checkup on Eva's four bee colonies next to an elementary school on April 28, 2013 in Berlin, Germany. Local beekeepers claim their yearly loss rates within their bee populations has gone from an average of 10% per year to 30% per year over the last 10 years, though they are unsure whether the cause lies with a mite and a virus it might be spreading or with the increased use of certain pesticides by local farmers. According to a recent report prepared by Greenpeace seven pesticides currently in use in Europe present a real danger to bees. Bees are essential in nature in pollenating a wide variety of plants and trees. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Marla Spivak's TED Talk might help explain the complexity, and gravity, of the present situation