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Update: Bee Die Off

Breaking Earth Science News: USA
Environmental Update: Alert
Feb 13, 2007

Scientists are reporting a dramatic loss of honeybee colonies. Some beekeepers say they're losing 20 percent of their bees, others say half, some say 80 percent. They open the hives to find the bees dead, or gone. Experts tell me when the bees get sick, they'll instinctively leave the hive to try and protect the others. More and more bees are doing just that, and no one is sure why.

Diana Cox-Foster, a professor of entomology at Penn State University, has been working on the problem for months now. She says the die-off is unprecedented, and she's made some dramatic discoveries. For example, the normally resilient bees she dissected showed traces of not one or two diseases, but nearly every disease known to affect them over the past century. They had ALL the diseases at once, a sign their immune systems have been compromised.

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