Colony collapse disorder (CCD) is a phenomenon in which worker bees from a beehive or European honey bee colony abruptly disappear. While such disappearances have occurred throughout the history of apiculture, the term colony collapse disorder was first applied to a drastic rise in the number of disappearances of Western honey bee colonies in North America in late 2006. Colony collapse is significant economically because many agricultural crops worldwide are pollinated by bees; and ecologically, because of the major role that bees play in the reproduction of plant communities in the wild. European beekeepers observed similar phenomena in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain, and initial reports have also come in from Switzerland and Germany, albeit to a lesser degree while the Northern Ireland Assembly received reports of a decline greater than 50 percent. Possible cases of CCD have also been reported in Taiwan since April 2007. Multiple possible causes of CCD have been identified. In 2007, some authorities attributed the problem to biotic factors such as Varroa mites and insect diseases (i.e., pathogens including Nosema apis and Israel acute paralysis
Contributions by Kgrr, Dyanega, and Anlace.