I was watching an episode of the PBS program Nova entitled "Silence of the Bees," quite a worrisome occurrence of bees and other pollinating insects dying off around the world. Three quarters of plants and most of our food is dependent upon them (originally broadcast on October 28, 2007 see online at http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/silence-of-the-bees/introduction/38/ ). The disease is known as Colony Collapse Disorder or CCD. What struck me was the overwhelming sense that this disorder of bees was so similar to ME/CFS in humans. In fact as scientists studied bees they expected to find a single pathogen, but they were amazed to find multiple infectious agents, viruses, bacteria, and fungi were afflicting the bees. They had the same chicken and egg problem, were any of these pathogens the cause, or did they occur as a result? The bees in fact did have an immune deficiency. In bee populations around the world, some seemed to do better in some regions and worse in others, urban Paris bees seemed better than rural France, the French bees declined in agricultural areas after a pesticide was used leading to its ban, but the bees are still suffering in those regions. In a province of China where heavy pesticide use has totally eliminated bees, most of the plant life is gone except for grasses that are wind pollinated. Pear farmers actually hand pollinate the crop, if the bees collapsed to this degree in the U.S. the cost would be $90B a year - thats a lot of farm hands! The bees are lethargic, have a loss of appetite, and have memory problems (cognitive impairment). More recently a specific virus was identified in the bees known as Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV) and is considered a prime suspect, but previously mites and other parasites and pathogens have been proposed, some blame biotech foods, others think an overall group of stressors are to blame. Just last week an Israeli company called Beelogics announced an antiviral drug called Remembree to deal with the problem. Sounds familiar doesnt it? If only we were as well funded as the bees!