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Declining bee population serves as detriment to crops

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Colony collapse disorder, a global phenomenon that sees the world's population of honeybees tapering, runs the risk of harming crop production.
Colony collapse disorder, a global phenomenon that sees the world's population of honeybees tapering, runs the risk of harming crop production.

The population of honeybees, which fulfill the vital task of pollinating about one-third of the globe's agricultural production, is declining, throwing into danger farmers' profitability, a leading agricultural bank reports.

Colony collapse disorder, as the reduction is known, impacts staples such as cocoa, coffee, apples, almonds and pears, according to Bloomberg. The scourge is widespread and not particular to any one region of the world.

"Although problems have been the worst in Europe and the U.S., inexplicable losses are also being witnessed in Asia, South America and the Middle East," according to the report by Rabobank analyst Ruben Verwijs.

The honeybee population reduced as much as 35 percent per year from 2006 through 2010, which is significantly higher than the typical 10 percent death rate, the report states. Causes of the harmful disorder could be inbreeding, malnutrition and the deployment of pesticides that have a more potent strength.

"A further decline in honeybee numbers could cause a pollination shortage," according to the report. "In a more extreme scenario, farmers might not be able to grow some crops profitably."