The Mystery of Disappearing Honeybees in Morocco

After experts reported honeybees’ disappearance in several regions across Morocco, a field investigation came to determine the cause of the threatening phenomenon. Morocco’s National Office for Food Safety (ONSSA) has launched a field investigation earlier this week, in response to the disappearance of honeybees across the country.

ONSSA confirmed the possibility of a “disease” as the cause of honeybees’ disappearance in the country. Moreover, the office emphasized that it is carrying out a survey in collaboration with the Moroccan Interprofessional Federation of Beekeeping (FIMAP); the survey is part of the monitoring of the state of health of beehives across Morocco. The operation that is currently being carried out across the kingdom came after increasing rates of reports from beekeepers on the desertion of honeybees.

ONSSA statement also stressed that the objective of the survey is to determine the extent of the unprecedented phenomenon to identify its causes.

After testing approximately 23,000 hives across the kingdom the results showed that the extent of desertion varies from one region to the other.

ONSSA statement ensured that the situation has not been seen before, linking the disappearance to disease, as the analysis and laboratories tests revealed. Also, the food office emphasized an intention to continue the field investigations with all partners to identify the exact causes of the disappearance of honeybees from some regions across Morocco.

ONSSA identified the phenomenon as “Colony Collapse Syndrome,” which it said is also observed in other countries across the world, including Europe and the United States.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines “Colony Collapse Syndrome” as “The phenomenon that occurs when the majority of worker bees in a colony disappear and leave behind the queen and a few nurse bees to care for the remaining immature bees and the queen.”

The cause of the disappearance of the worker bees in a colony could be linked to a disorder in the bees’ recognition of the way back to the hive. It is something like Alzheimer’s for bees. The insects get so intoxicated with chemicals that they lose their way.

ONSSA also reported that: “Research attributes this to several factors from lack of rainfalls, decrease in quantity and quality of food available for bees, to the state of health of apiaries.

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