What has happened to America’s honeybees? Last fall, ____________ from states with warm climates began to report a sudden loss of honey bees. Losses were reported in twenty-four states and into Canada. Today, some beekeepers say thirty percent to ninety percent of their honey bees are gone. Food prices could ____________ as a result.
And some beekeeping businesses have failed.
Many kinds of plants, trees and grasses need bees to pollinate them. Bees gather ____________ from flowers during this process. The liquid gives them food and material to make honey. As the bees land on flowers, their bodies ____________ and ____________ fine particles of ____________. Most flowering plants need pollination to reproduce.
Honey bees can die during the winter. But few dead bees have been found. Instead, the bees seem to have disappeared. Experts call the condition «colony collapse ____________.»
Agriculture Department official Caird Rexroad said the collapse threatens about fifteen billion dollars worth of the country’s farm economy. Mister Rexroad commented at a hearing of a House of Representatives agriculture subcommittee.
Mister Rexroad said the cause of the sudden ____________ of bees is not clear. The number of honey bees already had fallen before the colony collapse disorder began.
Experts say the varroa mite is at least partly responsible for the earlier decrease in honeybees. The mite is a tiny ____________ that feeds on honeybees. It may play a part in colony collapse disorder by carrying bee ____________. Or the problem may be caused by other diseases and weather conditions.
A group of scientists is examining bees from more than one hundred colonies across the country.
The researchers also are studying the pollen, honey, and ____________ that the bees produce. They are working with the Agriculture Department’s Agricultural Research Service.
Diana Cox-Foster of Pennsylvania State University is part of the scientific group. Miz Cox-Foster says the nation needs honeybees that can ____________ themselves better against disease and insects. The recent mapping of most of the honeybee’s ____________ offers hope of a stronger honeybee some day.