I came across the talk below and received a major upgrade in my knowledge on Colony Collapse Disorder. Noah Wilson-Rich's Tedx Boston talk raises several counter-intuitive facts about urban beekeeping and its impact on the colony collapse mystery. The 3 most salient facts he describes are below, followed by his full Ted talk.
- Colony Collapse Disorder is not a new problem. Say what... that's not what Ive been aware of. Yet Noah shows at 6:03 in his talk that bee die offs have occurred periodically over the last 1000 years.
- Survival of bees is greater in urban beekeeping (62.5%) than the more traditional rural beekeeping (40%). Can we get some microbiome folks working on this please? Do bees reared on city roof tops have a better microbial community than those reared rurally? Noah's Best Bees Company uses a probiotic nutritious blend (Apivax) to inhibit fungal infections and upregulate the bee immune system.
- Honey yield is greater in urban beekeeping (26.25%) versus rural beekeeping (16.75%). Here honey yield is measured as average pounds for first year.
I like Noah's approach. He is trying to figure out ways to increase bee health as a complement to others focussed on figuring out how Colony Collapse Disorders arise. The merger of these two paths will undoubtedly be fruitful when it occurs in the future.