I haven’t been in my bees yet this Spring but there have been a lot of new articles about the disastrous colony loss this year. In some cases 60 % of migratory bees that are used for pollinating apples, oranges and particularly almonds in California are dying off. For years there have been unproven explanations but it now seems that the majority of entomologists agree that it is pesticides and one family of pesticides in particular are the reason for the die off.
I met a woman at our neighbor’s during the winter whose brother is a professional beekeeper in Washington. She told me he doesn’t even collect honey anymore. He basically trucks the bees down to California to pollinate, gets paid well and then brings them home and after his colony losses just starts breeding new bees for the following season.