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Colony collapse disorder is a phenomenon in which worker bees from a beehive or European honey bee colony abruptly disappear. While such disappearances have occurred throughout the history of apiculture, the term colony collapse disorder was first applied to a drastic rise in the number of disappearances of Western honey bee colonies in North America in late 2006. Colony collapse is economically significant because many agricultural crops worldwide are pollinated by bees.
The cause or causes of the syndrome are not yet fully understood... More speculative possibilities have included both cell phone radiation and genetically modified (GM) crops with pest control characteristics, though experts say no evidence exists for either assertion.
May 2, 2010 News: Disturbing evidence that honeybees are in terminal decline has emerged from the United States where, for the fourth year in a row, more than a third of colonies have failed to survive the winter.
Bernard Vallat, the World Organisation for Animal Health's director-general, warned: "Bees contribute to global food security, and their extinction would represent a terrible biological disaster."
The decline of the country's estimated 2.4 million beehives began in 2006, when a phenomenon dubbed colony collapse disorder (CCD) led to the disappearance of hundreds of thousands of colonies. Since then more than three million colonies in the US and billions of honeybees worldwide have died and scientists are no nearer to knowing what is causing the catastrophic fall in numbers.