The mysterious ailment called colony collapse disorder has wiped out large numbers of the bees that pollinate a third of our crops. The causes turn out to be surprisingly complex, but solutions are emerging.
* Millions of beehives worldwide have emptied out as honeybees mysteriously disappear, putting at risk nearly 100 crops that require pollination.
* Research is pointing to a complex disease in which combinations of factors, including farming practices, make bees vulnerable to viruses.
* Taking extra care with hive hygiene seems to aid prevention. And research into antiviral drugs could lead to pharmaceutical solutions.
Solving the Mystery of the Vanishing Bees Scientific American April 2009