Colony Collapse and the Consequences of Bee Disease: Market Adaptation to Environmental Change

Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists
2019 6(5), 927-960


The most extensive markets for pollination services in the world are those for honey bee pollination in the United States. They play important roles in coordinating agricultural producers and migratory beekeepers, who both produce honey and provide pollination for crops. Recent trends in bee disease—including the still poorly understood colony collapse disorder, or CCD—can usefully be viewed in the context of how markets respond to environmental change. We analyze economic indicators of input and output markets related to managed honey bee operations, looking for effects from CCD. We find strong evidence of adaptation in these markets and remarkably little to suggest dramatic and widespread economic effects from CCD.