from what i've read, it seems like they can't ever find any of the disappearing bees from CCD colonies. i know that they isolate colonies and take samples from them, but do they ever get any of the bees that disappear or leave the hive to die? hackenburg said he got on his hands and knees and crawled around all over looking and could not find even one bee. what if someone could catch some of the bees that leave the hive and don't return to examine them? is anyone trying to do this? if no one is trying to, they should. examining the bees in the colony is not actually showing what is happening to them, which is evident because they still don't know why it's happening. when the bees decide to leave the colony and not return maybe they are experiencing a physiological mutation of some sort, which could be traced to a cause for it. if you put a CCD colony into a large, a very large, cage of #8 hardware cloth, you might be able to pick up some dead bees around the inside perimeter of the cage. the bees might cling on the cage refusing to go home. these are the bees that need to examined. inside the cage there would need to be multiple feeding stations. with enough food for them to forage from within the cage they would be disinclined to try to leave the cage for other forage unless they are truly trying to disappear. a sheet of white plastic could be laid onto the ground over the entire area inside the cage. this way you could find nearly every single dead bee there is for examination. i can imagine a cage the size of two football fields with a high ceiling and white plastic completely covering the ground with about fifty to a hundred different feeding stations to choose from. does anyone know of any kind of research taking this approach? probably not because it would be too costly.