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State’s honey bee colonies see 30 percent drop

WEST LAFAYETTE – Indiana’s honey bee populations are taking a hit from a mysterious disorder that’s devastating bee colonies across the nation.

Purdue Entomologist Dr. Greg Hunt tells WIBC-FM that Indiana’s beekeepers are reporting a 30 percent decline of bees in their colonies.

The culprit is “colony collapse disorder” which causes worker adult bees to leave hives in droves only to be found dead elsewhere. Since 2006, an estimated 10 million bee hives worth about $2 billion have been lost.

Hunt says there are numerous reasons for the bee decline but they are mostly due to parasitic mites. He says researchers are trying to breed bees that can kill the mites and perhaps reverse the trend.

Bees help pollinate fruits, vegetables and other crops worth about $200 billion a year.

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