Survey: Honeybee colony collapse losses declining

A survey finds the impact of a mysterious ailment called colony collapse disorder on the U.S. honeybee population could be declining.

But losses remain high enough to keep beekeepers on edge. And longtime stresses on bees such as starvation and poor weather add to the burden.

Bees help pollinate many fruits and vegetable crops. But hundreds of thousands of bee colonies have been lost since the first report of colony collapse disorder, or CCD, in 2004.

A survey of beekeepers published in the January issue of the Journal of Apicultural Research finds the percentage of operations reporting having lost colonies with CCD symptoms decreased to 26 percent last winter, compared to 38 percent the previous season and 36 percent the season before that.

Scientists still are searching for the cause.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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