Colony collapse disorder (CCD), a name coined in 2006, describes a honeybee colony that has lost the vast majority of its worker bees, with only a queen, nurse bees and immature bees remaining. While the phenomenon has existed throughout the history of beekeeping under different names, over the past two decades CCD has wreaked increasingly severe havoc on honeybee colonies. In recent years especially, beekeepers around world have been reporting an annual loss of 30 to 90 per cent of their colonies. If CCD continues, it could be more than solely an animal ethics issue, but might be disastrous for us too: bees are workers who provide us with hundreds of billions of dollars in labour. We rely on honeybees for the fertilisation of some of our most vital crops.
Created by the Munich-based design studio Kurzgesagt (German for ‘in a nutshell’), The Death of Bees Explained is an unsettling look at the factors that scientists believe might lead to CCD, and the gloomy future humanity could face if we can’t curb the damage soon.