A number of Missouri’s honey-producers are dealing with a mysteries labor shortage.
Bees are disappearing from dozens of hives, apparently randomly. But when one honey producer loses hundreds of colonies of bees, the producer could be losing some big money.
The disappearances are called Colony Collapse Disorder, part of a national trend first noticed by the federal agriculture department about 25 years ago. The bees just disappear.
He says the biggest losses have been among migratory beekeepers who move their hives for pollination and honey production.
Scientists wonder if another cause might be insecticide buildups in hives. The insecticide is used to fight mites that kill bees. Norman also wonders if insecticides the bees encounter outside the hives might be a factor.
Norman estimates beekeepers lose about 500-dollars every time they lose a hive to Colony Collapse Disorder. He says the industry has gone through these things several times in the last century. He says it appears they’ll just have to wait out this latest cycle of bee disappearances.