Southcentral Alaska beekeeper loses bees

Posted: Tuesday, June 10, 2008

ANCHORAGE - A beekeeper in Eagle River said his hives may be experiencing colony collapse disorder, a trend seen in 26 states.

Joe Dunham of Alaska Honey Pollen and Comb said he opened up hives this year to discover them empty.

The term "colony collapse disorder" was coined two years ago to describe dramatic disappearances of Western honey bee colonies.

No one knows why worker bees suddenly fly away.

Scientists have looked at pesticides, parasites, viruses and even stress as possible causes.

It's not just honey at stake.

Bee pollination is responsible for $15 billion in added crop value, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It's particularly important for specialty crops such as almonds and other nuts, berries, fruits and vegetables.

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