March 3, 2012 |
Almond trees are exploding with pink and white blossoms across the vast Central Valley, marking the start of the growing season for California's most valuable farm export. Toiling among the blooms are the migrant workers that will make or break this year's crop: honeybees. The insects carry the pollen and genetic material needed to turn flowers into nuts as they flit from tree to tree. It's a natural process that no machine can replicate. But it can't be left to chance. Bees are too integral to the fortunes of California's nearly $3-billion-a-year almond industry.
May 23, 2009 |
Federal officials say the decline of honeybee colonies may have slowed slightly but warn that mysterious ailments are still affecting the insects. U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers found that honeybee colonies declined by 29% between September 2008 and early April. That's an improvement over the last two years, when researchers found that 32% and 36% of beekeepers surveyed had lost colonies. Domestic honeybee stocks have been waning since 2004, when scientists learned of a puzzling illness they called colony collapse disorder.
May 8, 2008 |
Colony collapse disorder, a killer of billions of honeybees, isn't likely to affect the country's crops this year, the American Beekeeping Federation said, pointing to a forecast for a record almond harvest in California. Production of almonds, the ninth-largest U.S. crop by value and the crop that uses the most honeybees for pollination, may reach 1.46 billion pounds this year, according to a survey of growers released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That would be the most ever and 5.8% more than last year, when the harvest was valued at $2.4 billion.
April 10, 2013 |
This being Utah, the self-proclaimed Beehive State, Darren Cox is an expert in -- what else -- bees. Civic fathers use the term for the population's strong work ethic, but Cox deals with the stinging, honey-producing real McCoy. Now the fourth-generation bee farmer is trying to use his recognition as this year's national beekeeper of the year to focus attention on a major threat to the industry: colony collapse disorder. Cox, 48, who lives in Logan but has 5,000 hives in Utah, California's Central Valley and Wyoming, received the award from the American Honey Producers Assn.
May 2, 2013 |
Although honeybee loss slowed last year, it remains at dangerously high levels, according to a new federal report that concluded there was no single remedy for the colony collapse that has hit America's hard-working crop pollinators. The report, released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency, attributed the colony decline to a number of factors, including pesticide exposure, parasites and poor nutrition. Since 2006, when colony collapse disorder emerged, an estimated 10 million bee hives, worth about $2 billion, have been lost.
May 3, 2013 |
A new federal report has found that the nation's honeybee decline, which threatens up to $30 billion worth of agriculture production, is being caused by several factors, including disease, parasites and poor genetics. After colony collapse disorder began spreading in 2006, federal officials convened a group of researchers to study the phenomenon. Thursday's report by the Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency found several causes for the honeybee decline.