Something is killing America’s bees. It’s called Colony Collapse syndrome.
Bees are important to pollinating crops, so this has a wider significance than just the honey supply. It is true that to some extent it is possible to start new hives to replace the ones that mysteriously die, but if things go on as they are, there may be a tipping point where this is no longer possible.
My expatriate e-mail pen pal Jack sent me links to articles that indicate the problem is a nicotine-based family of pesticides called neonicontinoids. This seems very plausible.
Did Scientists Just Solve the Bee Collapse Mystery? by Tom Philpott for Mother Jones.
Fact Sheet: The Economic Challenge Caused by Declining Pollinator Populations from the White House.
Colony Loss 2014-2015: Preliminary Results by the Bee Informed Partnership.
Groups urge more than 100 garden retailers to stop selling pollinator-toxic pesticides by Kate Colwell for Friends of the Earth.
Here are some more links.
Bees may become addicted to nicotine-like pesticides, study finds by Karl Mathiesen for The Guardian.
Evidence Against Neocontinoids Mounts by Britt E. Erickson for Chemical & Engineering News.
Bugs Invade Europe as Save-Bees Cry Spurs Pesticide Ban by Whitney McFerron for Bloomberg News.