Colony Collapse Disorder: What’s the buzz?
For at least a decade, honeybee colonies throughout the world have been hit with a mysterious condition, dubbed by scientists as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). In infected hives, the adult worker bees leave the hive and never return. They abandon their queen and some larvae, as well as honey and pollen reserves. Furthermore, bees from other colonies, which would usually “rob” a weak colony immediately, leave the hive untouched for weeks. These bees simply disappear, a phenomenon that California’s extension apiculturist and trained insect pathologist Dr. Erin Mussen describes as “unheard of.”
Ever since they were reintroduced to Wisconsin in 1995, I’ve wanted to see an elk in my home state. Last month, my dream was realized when I spotted three of them during a trip to the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in Wisconsin’s Northwoods. One evening, while driving slowly up and down the forest roads at dusk, my husband and I saw three elk crossing the pavement ahead of us.
“Citizen science” isn’t the study of all of us who reside in the U.S., but rather a way of collecting information that has become popular in recent years. The phrase refers to volunteers who work as field assistants for scientific studies. In a time when school and natural resources department budgets are tight, using ordinary folks to gather and record wildlife and environmental observations can stretch research dollars by getting reams of data for no cost.