For several years now, scientists have been struggling to determine why bee colonies across the world are disappearing—a phenomenon dubbed colony collapse disorder (CCD).
As reported by Dan Rather, the US has recently experienced the highest loss of honeybee populations so far, with most of the nation’s beekeepers losing anywhere from 50 to 90 percent of their bee population.
Honeybees are perhaps one of the least recognized workers in the agricultural industry. They contribute $15 billion in annual agriculture revenue to the US economy alone, as a full one-third of the American food supply depends on them pollinating crops.
Just about every fruit and vegetable you can imagine is dependent on the pollinating services of bees. Apple orchards, for instance, require one colony of bees per acre in order to be adequately pollinated. So, unless the mysterious disappearance of bees is reversed, major food shortages could result.