Most Catholic Americans, when they see the initials "CCD," think immediately of the Confraternity of Catholic Doctrine and religious-education classes. For me, since I am a hobbyist beekeeper, those initials carry a far more ominous meaning: the dreaded Community Collapse Disorder.
Even if you don't know a honey bee from a yellow jacket, you've probably heard something about CCD (the apian version, I mean). It's the mysterious disease that has wiped out a large proportion of our native bee population. Since we depend heavily on bees for pollination of our crops, and we depend on our crops to provide our food, everyone has a reason for concern about CCD. But to date the disease has defied scientific analysis. We don't know what causes it-- don't even know what it is, really-- and therefore don't know how to combat it.
That might soon change. Today's New York Times carries a fascinating report about a new study that might constitute a real breakthrough in identifying and diagnosing CCD.
Now I realize that not every reader shares my interest in bees. You may not be inclined to read a story about an apian disease. I'll need to say something to spark your interest.
Fair enough: How's this?
The breakthrough research work-- on honey bees, remember-- was done by the Department of Homeland Security!
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