Subcommittee Investigates Honey Bee Colony Collapse Disorder

Mar 29, 2007

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Congressman Dennis Cardoza, Chairman of the House Agriculture CommitteeÆs Subcommittee on Horticulture and Organic Agriculture, held a hearing to investigate colony collapse disorder in honey bee colonies across the United States.

 Colony collapse disorder (CCD) is characterized by the sudden die-off of honey bee colonies. The cause of CCD has not been determined, and the Subcommittee heard about the situation and its impact on agriculture from scientists and bee keepers, as well as a farmer who relies on bees to pollinate his crops.

"I am deeply committed to raising awareness of CCD and its impact on American agriculture," said Subcommittee Chairman Cardoza.  "Farmers and beekeepers across the country are dependent on honey bees for their livelihoods. It is imperative that we move swiftly to get to the bottom of this, before the problem becomes even more serious. The insight and perspectives we heard in todayÆs hearing will be very useful as we consider the next steps in addressing this threat to honey bees, and to the livelihoods of commercial beekeepers and crop producers."

"Honey bee pollination is vital to flowers and many fruit, vegetable, nut and forage crops, as well as forages and flowers.  In addition, pollination from honey bees increases yield and food quality and creates billions of dollars of crop value for farmers. Agriculture has a strong interest in maintaining a sound supply of pollinators, and I encourage researchers to work closely with producers to find a solution to the current colony collapse," said Subcommittee Ranking Member Randy Neugebauer.

Witness testimony is available on the Committee website, and a full transcript of the hearing will be posted on the Committee website in 4-6 weeks.

Witness List

Associate Administrator Caird E. Rexroad, PhD, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, Washington, D.C.

Dr. Diana Cox-Foster, PhD, Professor, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania

Dr. May R. Berenbaum, Professor and Head, Department of Entomology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois

Mr. Paul Wenger, First Vice President, California Farm Bureau Federation, Modesto, California

Mr. David Ellingson, Commercial Bee Keeper, Ortonville, MN

Mr. Gene Brandi, Legislative Chairman, California State Beekeepers Association, Los Banos, California

Mr. Jim Doan, Commercial Bee Keeper, Hamlin, New York

Mr. Richard Adee, Legislative Committee Chairman, American Honey Producers Association, Bruce, South Dakota