The sudden disappearances of the previous decade have been dwarfed by other pollinator problems
USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab/Flickr
It was one of the flashiest mysteries in the news about a decade ago — honeybee workers were vanishing fast for no clear reason. To this day, that puzzle has never been entirely solved, researchers acknowledge.
And maybe it never will be. Colony collapse disorder, or CCD, as the sudden mass honeybee losses were called, has faded in recent years as mysteriously as it began. It’s possible the disappearances could start up again, but meanwhile bees are facing other problems.
CCD probably peaked around 2007 and faded since, says Jeff Pettis, who during the heights of national curiosity was running the Beltsville, Md., honeybee lab for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s research wing. And five years have passed since Dennis vanEngelsdorp, who studies bee health at the University of Maryland in College Park, has seen a “credible case” of colony collapse.
Beekeepers still report some cases, but Pettis and vanEngelsdorp aren’t