Monsanto, the biotech company whose proprietary genetically modified corn has been fingered as the possible culprit in the collapse of the bee population, has gone ahead and purchased Beelogics, a research firm committed to "restoring bee health and protecting the future of insect pollination."
The first thing to understand is CCD is a syndrome, "a group of symptoms that together are characteristic of a specific disorder, disease, or the like." This means it's not one factor causing the problem. Researchers feel it is a perfect storm of causes; parasites & disease, lack of genetic diversity (all apis mellifera in the US are descendants of the original 472 mother bees), pesticides & fungicides, in-hive chemicals, malnutrition and migration (not yet quantified at this time).
Monsanto, are they the sole cause of CCD? No. Are their products a contributing factor? Absolutely. Is this some conspiracy by Monsanto? Meh, maybe but it's probably more about their bottom line than anything else. Don't get me wrong, I think they are dirt bags.
Let's talk neonictonoids for a minute. Neonics are brutally effective at killing bugs. The are widely used in the US. Neonics are systemic in the plant. This means the plant takes it up and it is circulated by the plant. Why is this a problem? It's inside the plant right? How can a bee get at it? Well...a little something called "guttation".
When a plant needs to get rid of excess water is releases it via small pores called hydathodes. Bees will often drink this and/or bring it back to the hive for a variety of purposes (cooling, mixing with nectar, etc). Because neonics and other systemic pesticides are carried in the plants circulatory system they are exuded in concentrated form via guttation. The bee drinks it and it's all over. Dead bee. If the bees bring enough back to the colony...bingo, poisoned colony. Symptoms include; hyper-excitation and death.
Anyway, gotta go move a couple hives...