Colony Collapse Honey Bees

To Bee or Not to Be

Colony Collapse is Wiping out our Population of Honey Bees

Colony Collapse Disorder is a phenomenon where worker bees abruptly disappear from their hives. Since late 2006 it is estimated that the number of beehives in North America, affected with this disorder, has increased 25-35%. There have also been similar instances all over the world. The cause is still unknown, but some theories include climate change, pesticide-use, mites, fungal disease, habitat loss, a virus that attacks the bees immune system, or a combination of more than one of these factors.

Honey bees are as vital to many food crops as are water and sunlight. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, honey bees pollinate approximately $15 billion dollars worth of crops each year. They are necessary to pollinate staples such as almonds, cabbage, onion, mustard, apples, chile peppers, berries, melons, grapes, soybeans, and the list goes on.

Pollinator Planting Guide

What Can You do to Help?

Invite pollinators to your neighborhood by planting a pollinator friendly habitat in your garden, farm, school, park or just about anywhere! Check out these free Pollinator Friendly Planting Guides from the Pollinator Partnership. The ecoregional planting guides are tailored to specific areas of the U.S.

Looking for bee-friendly plants while you are on the go? Download a free smart phone app!


The Pollinator Partnership is a non profit organization that helps to protect the health of pollinators. They manage the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign, with the support of National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the C.S. Fund, the Plant Conservation Alliance, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Bureau of Land Management.

Want to learn more about the importance of honey bees? Download a bee fact sheet from the National Resource Defense Fund or the Conservation Fact Sheet - California Plants for Native Bees.