Fears for crops as shock figures from America show scale of bee catastrophe | Environment | The Observer (external - login to view)
"Potential causes range from parasites, such as the bloodsucking varroa mite, to viral and bacterial infections, pesticides (external - login to view)
and poor nutrition stemming from intensive farming methods. The disappearance of so many colonies has also been dubbed "Mary Celeste syndrome" due to the absence of dead bees in many of the empty hives."
"A global review of honeybee deaths by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) reported last week that there was no one single cause
, but pointed the finger at the "irresponsible use" of pesticides that may damage bee health and make them more susceptible to diseases. Bernard Vallat, the OIE's director-general, warned: "Bees contribute to global food (external - login to view)
security, and their extinction would represent a terrible biological disaster."