Bee rescue is a service that removes unwanted honeybees from homes or businesses and relocates them to a place where they can be used for pollination. Beekeepers provide bee rescue as a service in response to Colony Collapse Disorder, a global phenomenon in which honeybees rapidly disappear with no known explanation. Beekeepers often charge less for bee rescue than exterminators would charge to kill the same bees.
Colony Collapse Disorder, or CCD, was first named in 2006, when the number of disappearing honeybees increased dramatically. CCD is a crisis for agriculture because honeybees are needed to pollinate certain crops.
While incidents of CCD have occurred in the past, most notably in the United Kingdom in 1906 and in the United States in 1918 and 1919, no agreed-upon explanations have been offered to explain the phenomenon. The most recent rash of CCD incidents reached new heights beginning in 2006, with beekeepers reporting losses of up to 90 percent of their bees by 2007, with remaining colonies unable to produce honey and pollinate. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and Environmental Protection Agency set up task forces to deal with CCD in 2013.
Proposed causes for CCD include pesticides, invertebrate pests and starvation. Since no single factor seems to explain the phenomenon, several causes are likely involved.