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Bees: Diseases

Volume 461: debated on Thursday 14 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the development of Colony Collapse Disorder among honey bees in each of the last five years for which records are available. (142279)

The term Colony Collapse Disorder is being used in the USA to describe cases in which some very large scale commercial operations have lost a high percentage of their hives. A wide range of possible causes are being investigated by researchers in the USA. The National Bee Unit at DEFRA's Central Science Laboratory is maintaining close contact with researchers from the USA.

There have been widely reported, but isolated, cases in the UK in which beekeepers have lost a high percentage of their bee colonies. However, overall percentage losses are similar to previous years, albeit reflecting the gradual increase seen in the last five years.