This disorder is threatening the honey bee population and influences the decline of the honey production.
The USDA said they are still investigating what could be the causes of stress that affect the bees. Possible causes taken into consideration include pathogens, pesticides, parasites, poor management and environmental issues.
A new study conducted by scientists from the Queen Mary University of London revealed that one of the causes behind the collapse of bee colonies is stress.
The researchers explained that bees start foraging at a very young age – 2-3 weeks old.
The study shows that when older bees die due to various reasons, young bees replace them and start to forage although they are not entirely ready for such an important chore.
In order to study why bees suffer from stress, the scientists attached special radio trackers on them. These tiny trackers stayed on the bees over the course of their lives.
The scientists analyzed the data from the radio trackers and discovered that younger bees are not very successful at foraging and many of them die during their first flight.
According to the experts, when the younger bees start dying because they are forced to go foraging at an early age, the colony of bees is affected and starts dying as well.
Dr. Clint Perry, a scientist at the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences at QMUL, said that young bees that start foraging from a young age are a consequence of the older foraging bees that die.
Dr. Perry explained that:
“If the increased death rate continues for too long or the hive isn’t big enough to withstand it in the short term, this natural response could upset the societal balance of the colony and have catastrophic consequences.”
He added that the recent study suggests that tracking the bees when they begin foraging could indicate the overall health of the bee hive.
The scientists hope to find what causes the colony to collapse in order to help them avoid it.
Image Source: emanate
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