The University of California's honey bee research center, and its hunt for the causes of and solutions to colony collapse disorder, is profiled in today's San Francisco Chronicle.
There, researchers are breeding new strains of bee that, hopefully, can better withstand colony collapse disorder, that mysterious affliction decimating American honey bees. There, they are analyzing honey bee DNA to see if its genetic code reveals any secrets.
This kind of research into the nature of honey bees happens in only a handful of labs around the country.
The problems associated with colony collapse disorder are now well known, and showing up this year to a worrying degree even as the bees successfully face their first test of the season in the almond groves of California. But research is a slow process, and beekeepers are continually frustrated that useful techniques to avoid colony collapse disorder have not yet filtered from government research budgets, through laboratories and to the bees.
It matters, of course, because bees are responsible for pollinating a huge amount of the world's food crops, and without them, eating would be not only more bland, but much more expensive.
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