Disease can unleash a weakness of unregulated free market capitalism. Epidemics resulting in labor shortages cause wage inflation creating an incentive for migration into the afflicted zones. This is the exact opposite of the quarantine measures that are necessary instead. Quarantine is therefore a legitimate area of economic regulation by government.
CCD and beekeeping are a case in point. The labor of bees in providing pollination services for agriculture now demands a higher price due to CCD. The higher the price the further beekeepers are willing to travel to meet the demand. By now bees are being shipped clear across the country, thousands of miles. The more that bees from remote locations are brought together in outbreak zones, the worse the epidemics spread. We now have many epidemics flaring out of control simultaneously. Certain strains of pathogens in conjunction produce the CCD effect. CCD is not a disease itself; it is a symptom of regulatory failure.
In the absence of restrictions, farmers and beekeepers are driven by competitive pressures and economies of scale to make decisions that endanger both industries. A farmer could keep bees which in isolation on his land would be less exposed to pathogens and parasites. This would give up the efficiency of specialization and require that he dedicate almost half of his land to bee forage crops such as clover that can sustain the bees. Beekeepers not only double their production with twice the hives, they benefit from economies of scale. Honey extraction and processing equipment require less labor and are more efficient the greater their capacity. This efficiency would be lost to the farmer-beekeeper. Beekeepers expand their operations until a greater number of hives can not be supported without moving them periodically to new pasturage. Provided they are legally allowed to, they are welcomed by farmers who can then expand and specialize themselves. This partnership between beekeepers and farmers gives both a competitive edge, forcing others to do the same. The result is that both scale up to unsustainable levels.
Bees live in densely populated concentrations of tens of thousands of individuals. Humans do so as well, in cities. But humans pay close attention to sanitation and provide themselves with clean running water and flush toilets. One can not install flush toilets in a beehive. Humans used to live like bees but back then life expectancy was a third of what it is today. The hives in an apiary are packed in together like students in a college dorm. Universities get away with it because the students have had their shots, and because of antibiotics, fungicides, insecticides, miticides, and other miracles of modern science. Bees can not be vaccinated, they only live three weeks in the field. Bee colonies can not be treated during a honey flow. Humans could not live the way bees live without being decimated by epidemics. Neither can bees, as CCD demonstrates.
Human quarantine has always been an important line of defense against disease. The Bible quarantined lepers and broke society up into quarantine cells by family with the triad of laws against adultery, fornication, and sodomy. The word quarantine was coined in Venice because of the plague. During plague outbreaks whole villages were sealed off such as Eyam in Britain. Ellis Island kept quarantine on immigrants through to the early 20th Century. Typhoid Mary spent decades in quarantine until her death in 1938. More recently during the early years of the AIDS epidemic, Cuba rounded up everyone who was HIV positive and held them in isolation. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/typhoid/quarantine.html
In the 21st Century, although governments retain laws on the books, the popular consensus is that disease is no longer a threat and so quarantine measures are inappropriate. Perhaps this is true for humans, but disease is still a serious threat for bees and quarantine remains the only effective line of defense. At the Federal level it should be illegal to transport bees across state lines, which includes of course importing them from abroad. At the State level during an outbreak, like now, it should be illegal to transport bees across county lines. These are the laws that should have been in place from the start and without which our food supply is and will remain in jeopardy.
Mobile beekeeping should not be allowed, and never should have been. This is a failure of government caretaker responsibility. The transition back will cause heavy losses that the victims of should be compensated for. Orchards will have to be cut down. Bee hives destroyed since they can not be responsibly sold during epidemics. Both farmers and beekeepers will have large scale equipment no longer appropriate for their downsized operations. Beekeepers are in a position now like that of fishermen. These industries collapse naturally if not curtailed by regulation. The bottom is less severe and recovery is faster if cutbacks are imposed by regulation rather than by the forces of nature. And of course, like fishermen, those whose involvement gets curtailed will complain strenuously although regulation is in their best interests.