Mites, pesticides and extreme winter weather are being blamed for the loss of billions of bees just as they are needed to pollinate crops nationwide. The number of honeybee colonies in the US has dropped by 50% in the past 25 years, and the winter die-off this year has made the situation much worse. Without bees to pollinate them, crops fail. There is no other means of pollination.

In the Jackson Hole Star Tribune, Olivia Munoz quotes US Dept. of Agriculture bee expert Dennis vanEngelsdorp as saying, “It’s startling. We were just starting to get information through word-of-mouth from beekeepers in the east a couple months ago and we thought about what it was going to mean once it got time for them to travel to California.” What it could mean is future famine right here in the US.

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