Birds do it, fleas do it but when bees do it, the value is $212 billion to the world economy.
That's why scientists are seeking a way to stem mass deaths of the world's primary pollinator -- the honeybee -- which affect more than 30 percent of bee colonies in the United States and more than 20 percent in some European countries.
Researchers have identified some probable causes of colony collapse disorder (CCD), including blood-feeding parasites, bee viruses, fungi, pesticide exposure and decreased plant diversity causing poor nutrition for honeybees, experts say.
Losses are alarming not just for honey lovers but for a huge chunk of the global agricultural market as well. Some 52 of the world's 112 leading crops -- from apples and soybeans to cocoa and almonds -- rely on pollination. One 2009 study by economists put the value of insect pollination, mainly by bees, at about $212 billion.
For more, see: Researchers seek causes of honeybee colony collapse