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As an industry leader in natural and organic foods, Whole Foods Market® is passionate about raising honey bee awareness, taking action and helping our communities “bee the solution.”

The Mystery of the Disappearing Bees

In late 2006, North American beekeepers witnessed a mysterious phenomenon: in certain colonies, adult bees abruptly vanished, leaving the queen and her brood in an otherwise deserted hive.

This syndrome, known as “Colony Collapse Disorder,” focused international attention on honey bee populations, which have been declining since the 1990s.

Today, scientists and beekeepers theorize that honey bee decline is caused by a combination of factors, including pathogens, loss of crop diversity and increased exposure to systemic pesticides.

Where would we be without Bees?

The lives of bees and humans are intricately linked. More than 100 types of crops in the US are pollinated by bees, from almonds to zucchini. Bees are vital to the reproduction of clover and alfalfa, which feed grazing animals, and to the diverse ecosystems that sustain wildlife.

Throughout human history, bees have been revered for their precision, productivity and communal intelligence…not to mention honey, beeswax, bee pollen, propolis and royal jelly. Egyptian pharaohs inscribed images of bees on royal seals. In Greek mythology, bees were associated with deities and divination. [Read more…]