A few years ago, bees suddenly had a sharp decline in numbers. This “Colony Collapse Disorder” as it is called, is a disorder in the sense that it is a recurring phenomenon, detailed for the last 1,000 years even when record-keeping just consisted of sporadic anecdotes. It was noted more frequently as record-keeping became more thorough. so it appeared far more often by the 1800s. By the 1900s, record-keeping had improved enough that there were seven recorded instances of this CCD phenomenon just in the United States.
But the cultural landscape was much different by the end of the 20th century, environmentalists emboldened by their “Silent Spring” political victory over DDT in the 1970s became a true well-funded, political action force. Like any political group, they need to show their donors they can win once in a while. In 1995, after another colony collapse disorder incident, the issue got enough attention that they called on governments to mandate something safer and governments told companies to do it.
Aug 23 2016