Bee Health, Nanotechnology, and More from CRS

08.30.13 | 2 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

A comprehensive overview of the still-not-fully explained decline of honeybee and other bee populations is presented in a new report from the Congressional Research Service.

“To date, the precise reasons for bee colony losses are not yet known. Reasons cited for bee declines include a wide range of possible factors thought to be affecting pollinator species. These include bee pests and disease, diet and nutrition, genetics, habitat loss and other environmental stressors, agricultural pesticides, and beekeeping management issues, as well as the possibility that bees are being affected by cumulative, multiple exposures and/or the interactive effects of several of these factors,” the CRS report said.

The problem is not a trivial one particularly since, according to one estimate, “bee pollination of agricultural crops is said to account for about one-third of the U.S. diet.”  See Bee Health: Background and Issues for Congress, August 27, 2013.

Other new or newly updated CRS reports that Congress has withheld from online public distribution include the following.

The Debt Limit: History and Recent Increases, August 27, 2013

House Apportionment 2012: States Gaining, Losing, and on the Margin, August 23, 2013

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Characteristics of the Cash Assistance Caseload, August 21, 2013

Financing Natural Catastrophe Exposure: Issues and Options for Improving Risk Transfer Markets, August 15, 2013

The National Nanotechnology Initiative: Overview, Reauthorization, and Appropriations Issues, August 9, 2013

China/Taiwan: Evolution of the “One China” Policy — Key Statements from Washington, Beijing, and Taipei, August 26, 2013

European Union Wind and Solar Electricity Policies: Overview and Considerations, August 7, 2013

The National Defense Authorization Act for FY2012 and Beyond: Detainee Matters, August 27, 2013

National Security Strategy: Mandates, Execution to Date, and Issues for Congress, August 6, 2013