U S Fish and Wildlife Service


Flyer for Where have all the Pollinators Gone? Free workshop

Main Interior Auditorium, Department of Interior, Washington D.C.,

Date: October 25, 2007
Time: 9:00 to 10:30 a.m.
More Information (pdf)

September 6, 2007:
Genetic Survey Finds Association Between CCD and Virus (U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service)



USFWS Customer Service Center


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Colony Collapse Disorder
  A honeybee settles onto a wildflower. Photo credit: Department of Energy, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory

Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is the name given to the current ailment striking honey bee colonies in the United States.  In affected colonies, the worker bees leave the hive and never return, leaving only the egg-laying queen, brood and a few attendants. There are a variety of theories as to what is causing the collapse of honeybee colonies, including: stress leading to a weakened immune system, varroa mites (a parasite known to attack honey bees), a pathogen (such as a virus, bacteria or fungus), stress from the movement of colonies, and/or sublethal effects of pesticides.   Sublethal means it does not cause death.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service is collaborating with several universities to determine the cause of Colony Collapse Disorder as part of the Colony Collapse Disorder Working Group.

Honey bees are important to agriculture, although they are not native to the U.S.   It is estimated that honey bees provide approximately $15 billion dollars annually in pollination services in the U.S., primarily for vegetables, fruits, and nuts.  In addition, some colonies are maintained by bee keepers for honey production.  Native bees, such as bumblebees, also pollinate crops, with the value of their services recently estimated at $3 billion dollars annually in the U.S.  Little is known about the status of native pollinators. 

In addition to the important role of pollinators in human food production, pollinators are also important to wildlife – an estimated 25% of birds and mammals rely heavily on fruit and seeds as part of their diet.

More information on Colony Collapse Disorder ( U.S. Department of Agriculture):
  • Overview
  • Want To Learn about CCD - (Links to other sites with information on CCD)

More information on wild pollinators


Source:  Statements of Caird E.Rexroad; Diana Cox-Foster, and May R. Berenbaum  before the House Subcommittee on Horticulture and Organic Agriculture Hearing to review the colony collapse disorder in honey bee colonies across the United States, March 29, 2007. 

Last Updated: September 9, 2009