They are the canaries in the mine of our environment, and they are dying.
In the United States domesticated bee populations have collapsed to a 50-year low, and are continuing to collapse. So many bees are dying, in fact, the federal government is considering listing some as protected species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
There are two popular theories as to why populations of bees are collapsing.
The European Union points to the pesticides being poured out onto the enviornment, and are moving to ban those of the neonicotinoid class. The United States points to parasites such as the Varroa mite, bacterial diseases like foulbrood and the multiple species of viruses associated colony collapse disorder.
Both theories, however, are simple theories, and as of yet, no substantive reason has yet to be proved up.
Since all is theory, all are free to theorize, and so we look for a reason to a place few consider– in the belly of bee– and ask...
What is killing the bees?